According to a recent report, Arsenal run the risk of losing Ainsley Maitland-Niles this summer as he is looking for game time. While I don’t want to see the youngster leave the club, it’s important to consider both sides of the story, so here I am to play devil’s advocate. Here are 3 arguments in favour of Arsenal selling Maitland-Niles this summer…
1. Think of the money
I don’t know many things about the upcomind transfer window, which in itself says a lot about it. It’s bound to be filled with uncertainty and unlike any transfer window we’ve seen before. One thing which can be said for certain though, is that clubs will need to be scarce with their financial resources.
Player sales is bound to be one way to make money this summer, especially since it’s unlikely games will be played in the Premier League with audiences. That said, selling Maitland-Niles could give the Gunners a financial boost to chase their targets.
2. Arsenal can’t give him what he wants
If Maitland-Niles’ condition to stay is that he gets regular first-team football, then Arsenal must be honest with themselves over whether this is a real possibility. Arteta seems to prefer a midfield pairing of Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira, meaning the only option Maitland-Niles has is a full-back slot, which in itself is occupied by Hector Bellerin.
It’s better to have no player at all than an unhappy player. It’s a shame he is surplus to requirements, but that’s just the way it is.
3. It would free up room for new arrivals
This somewhat links to the financial side of things, because with the money Arsenal obtain from Maitland-Niles, they could invest it straight back into the squad. Perhaps with someone who is first-team ready, like Orkun Kokcu or Adrien Rabiot. I would say Thomas Partey, but I don’t think the Gunners would obtain enough funds to acquire him.
His sale would relieve the onus of Arteta picking and choosing between two stars on the cusp of first-team football, so it would be a win-win.
Cover image: Chensiyuan, 2018