Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ future at Arsenal is in some doubt all of a sudden.
The 22-year-old utility man is reportedly being monitored by a plethora of clubs after it was claimed the Gunners could allow him to depart.
Sky Sports say two unnamed Premier League clubs and one unnamed German club are in the mix for the former England youth international, with all three apparently preparing bids.
Maitland-Niles has been with Arsenal since the tender age of six, and he recently racked up his 100th appearance for the club at the FA Cup final.
Despite a promising start to his Emirates career, Maitland-Niles hasn’t always been a regular starter, and he certainly doesn’t often get the opportunity to play in his preferred position of central midfield.
The star has three years remaining on his contract, but doubts are increasing about his long-term future, and there is a relevant precedent that worried Arsenal fans probably ought to acknowledge.
TBR’s View – Oxlade-Chamberlain success might force AMN’s exit
In the summer of 2017, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain sealed his exit from Arsenal, joining Liverpool for a reported fee of £35 million (BBC Sport).
Like £35,000-a-week star Maitland-Niles (Spotrac), Oxlade-Chamberlain struggled to nail down his place in the Arsenal starting XI, and also didn’t always get to play in his favoured position of central midfield.
His move to Anfield raised eyebrows, but it has definitely turned out well for him.
Before his knee injury against Manchester City in the Champions League on April 2018, he was a regular starter. Even now he is a key member of the squad and rarely plays out of position when he’s in the team.
He’s gone on to win the Champions League and the Premier League, and Maitland-Niles might just be thinking the grass could be greener elsewhere, just as it’s proven to be for his fellow countryman.