‘I kiss Arsenal goodbye’: Ainsley Maitland-Niles makes a stunning public confession when he asks Mikel Arteta to play or SELL him… and says he has ‘done enough to get other clubs interested in me ‘
- Ainsley Maitland-Niles was loaned to West Brom by Arsenal last season
- Maitland-Niles was redundant in the initial phase of the past semester
- Now versatile English star Mikel Arteta has asked for clarity about his future
- The 23-year-old has also admitted his frustration with his situation in England
Ainsley Maitland-Niles has urged Arsenal to give him ‘clarity’ about his future, admitting it may be time to kiss his beloved club ‘goodbye’ if they don’t see him as part of their plans next season.
Maitland-Niles was loaned to West Brom in the second half of last season after being made redundant under Mikel Arteta, but he couldn’t help the Baggies avoid relegation.
He plans to return to Arsenal this summer but has admitted he is none the wiser about his situation in north London as he has not been in touch with Arteta or technical director Edu about their plans for him.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles has demanded ‘clarity’ from his beloved club Arsenal about his future
The 23-year-old Englishman was redundant under Mikel Arteta last season
The 23-year-old, who was mainly deployed as a right-back under Arteta but prefers to play more as a box-to-box midfielder, has since argued that his time at the club may be coming to an end.
“If I got a call from someone at Arsenal and they said they wanted to meet tomorrow, it would be easier that way,” Maitland-Niles told the Telegraph. “They can tell me if they have plans to play against me in the future or if they want to sell me. I heard they want to make some space [in the squad] and some money, so I’m not sure.’
Maitland-Niles added: “I want a decision. I want some clarity. And then hopefully I can get started with everyone I need to get started with. Whether that’s finding a new club or continuing my training.
“I’d like to have an indication of what’s going on. Where she [Arsenal] see me. If it works, it will be fine, if not, kiss Arsenal goodbye. It has been a long journey, but also a proud one.’
Maitland-Niles was the subject of intense interest last summer from a number of clubs, including Wolves, Newcastle and Brighton.
Maitland-Niles spent the second half of last season at the Gunners’ West Brom
A transfer was in the pipeline, but Arsenal turned their backs and kept their youngster – who has been with the club since 2003 – after a string of standout performances in last season’s FA Cup semi-finals and final, and the win of the Community Shield over Liverpool.
This impressive form earned him his first call-up to senior England, but suddenly Maitland-Niles found it difficult to get playing time under Arteta early in the 2020-21 season and soon sought a move before West Brom picked him up.
And Maitland-Niles, who made a total of 15 loan spells at West Brom and produced some impressive displays in midfield, has insisted he’s done ‘enough’ to attract interest from elsewhere this summer when his time at Arsenal is over. .
“You have to keep your wits about what you may not want to hear and be prepared if that is the case,” the youngster said. “Be a man about the situation. If it doesn’t work there, there are always other clubs that want to take you and I like to think that I’ve done enough in the Premier League in the last half of the season to get other clubs interested in me.
While he has admitted his frustration with his future at Arsenal, he also showed his dismay at England’s being overlooked of late – after being rejected from the European Championship.
“It was hard for me to swallow,” added Maitland-Niles, who has five Three Lions caps to his name. “Because in the back part of last season I made a few appearances in the cup, in the final, and after that break we had another final [Community Shield] which led to my call in England not long after. A few months later it all died down, I stopped playing… so it was strange, very strange.
Maitland-Niles has also been overlooked by England and missed the European Championship squad
“It was hard to take. You get called up to England, play football regularly for your club, go to a camp in England and then it all disappears and you play for neither. You don’t get any real contact from either manager, from the international scene or from the club. I thought, “What do you want me to do now? What am I supposed to do now?”
Maitland-Niles joined the Arsenal youth academy in 2003 at the age of six before progressing through his career.
After progressing through the youth teams, Maitland-Niles made his first-team debut at the age of 17 – in a Champions League clash against Galatasaray in December 2014.
He has played 121 games for the North London team, winning two FA Cups.