Southampton is one of three Premier League clubs interested in signing midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles from Arsenal this summer.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles, 23, was unable to secure a regular place at Arsenal and moved to West Brom on loan in January, where he made 12 appearances in the Premier League last season. However, he could not help ensure that the Baggies maintain their top status under the direction of Sam Allardyce.
The England international with five caps has played over 100 games for the Gunners, but has not secured a permanent position in the team. He has played in various positions in defense and midfield at Arsenal and with manager Mikel Arteta aiming to further strengthen his squad after recruiting midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga and left-back Nuno Tavares, things could be better for Maitland-Niles to say goodbye to his youth club and ignite his career elsewhere.
The 23-year-old versatile Englishman, whose contract at the Emirates Stadium expires in 2023, is too to arouse interest from Leicester City and Burnley.
In the meantime, Southampton has yet to get started in the summer transfer window. They have only signed left-back Romain Perraud from French club Stade Brest and Theo Walcott from Everton on a free transfer, while players like Ryan Bertrand, Angus Gunn, Wesley Hoedt and Dan N’Lundulu are leaving the club.
With only five weeks left in the transfer window, Ralph Hasenhüttl and the Saints have to hurry and get some quality players on board.
The move from Brandon Williams to Southampton looks
The Saints are keen to loan out Manchester United full-back Brandon Williams to step up their defense.
Brandon Williams, 20, enjoyed his breakthrough in the 2019-20 season at Old Trafford due to Luke Shaw’s injury issues. But since Shaw’s resurgence in form and the appearance of left-back Alex Telles from FC Porto last summer, the 20-year-old has only made 19 appearances across all competitions.
After Williams fell into the pecking order of full-backs, it is in Williams’ best interests to get loaned and get first-team football. Ralph Hasenhüttl wants to sign the English full-back, however; A loan deal between Manchester United and Southampton has hit an impasse as the Red Devils appear to want more than £ 2m to be able to leave their academy graduate on a fixed-term contract.
The way things are, looks like Williams’ move to St. Mary’s.
Is Ainsley Maitland-Niles an Alternative to Williams?
While Ainsley Maitland-Niles has reiterated his desire to play in central midfield, Southampton could well see him as an alternative to Brandon Williams as a full-back.
The Arsenal Academy graduate has a decent top-flight experience as he made his first-team debut in the 2014-15 season. He prefers to play in central midfield, but is regularly used as a full-back – a position that Hasenhüttl and the Saints lack in depth after Ryan Bertrand’s departure.
Because of his adaptability, Maitland-Niles could be a smart addition to Southampton. The 23-year-old is a very promising player who would fight for a place in Hasenhüttl’s midfield while also deepening his full-back position.
Hasenhuttl showed in Southampton that he is more than willing to trust young players. The chances that Maitland-Niles will thrive in St. Mary’s Stadium under the direction of the Austrian remain high. So it would be wise to get the England international from Arsenal before the transfer window closes.
I’m Rohan Sengupta from one of the busiest cities in India, Mumbai. As a qualified journalist and sports enthusiast, football is something I simply cannot live without and I write, discuss and analyze the game 24/7.