Arsenal ace Ainsley Maitland-Niles set to join AS Roma on loan

Ainsley Maitland-Niles is reportedly nearing a loan switch to AS Roma in January as he looks for a way out of his Arsenal frustration.

According to Goal, AS Roma are close to making a loan move for Ainsley Maitland-Niles in January, as the midfielder looks to end his Arsenal frustration.

Maitland-Niles has always been a topic of discussion throughout his spell at Arsenal. The academy product always insisted on playing in midfield. But all his managers at the north London club have preferred to use him in different roles, varying from full-back to somewhere in the attacking third.

Upon his insistence, Mikel Arteta agreed to send him out on loan to West Bromwich Albion last January. Maitland-Niles visibly impressed his manager and the Arsenal boss managed to keep hold of the versatile star in the summer, despite him pushing for a move to Everton.

The Spanish tactician has often played the 24-year-old in his preferred midfield position this term, as the academy star even put in a Man-of-the-Match performance against Watford. However, Arteta has not picked the midfielder in his teams of late as it seems like his time at the club is up.

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Having missed out on a transfer to Everton in the summer, Maitland-Niles has a new opening, with Roma showing a keen interest in signing him. Jose Mourinho was close to signing his teammate Granit Xhaka earlier this year and is now looking at alternatives to bolster his midfield heading into the January transfer window.

Roma are prepared to make a loan offer to Arsenal until the end of the season, and the midfielder is reportedly close to signing for the Italian side. However, the situation is puzzling considering Arsenal will lose Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny for the AFCON next month.

In the given scenario, Arsenal might be prepared to enter the transfer market for another midfield signing, considering they will be left thin in the area in January. While the Gunners have manoeuvred this season without Maitland-Niles so far this term, they might have preferred to call upon him during the AFCON period.

As things stand, the 24-year-old England international seems set on his way to Stadio Olimpico. And, it remains to be seen what Arsenal do in the window to offset Maitland-Niles’ anticipated departure to Roma.


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