Arsenal transfer news: Gunners warned that Ainsley Maitland-Niles could seek move

Ainsley Maitland-Niles
(Image credit: PA)

Former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell believes Ainsley Maitland-Niles could leave the club if he remains on the periphery of the first-team squad.

Maitland-Niles was linked with a move away from the Emirates Stadium in the summer due to concerns over game time.

The 23-year-old has only started four Premier League games this season, and was again absent from the XI that dismantled West Brom (opens in new tab) 4-0 on Saturday.

And Campbell believes Maitland-Niles will not be content with his situation.

"I think he will pursue an exit in the summer,” he told Football Insider (opens in new tab)

“Although he loves the club, he is an England international now – he has to play football. 

“There is no point loving the club and being a bit-part player. You have proven you can do it on numerous occasions, you are a full England international and you are on the bench. That is not going to last.

"I hear Mikel Arteta is trying to convince him to stay and sign a new contract because he is now an England international.

“Which clubs let England internationals go? You do not do that. 

“He wants to play, of course he wants to but we know football is a squad game. He wants to play in central midfield and they have just bought [Thomas] Partey to play there.

"Maitland-Niles is a good player but he is no Partey, that is for sure. 

“He has a great engine on him, tough and can take a penalty because he is calm as a cucumber. He has loads of pluses going for him. He can fit in multiple positions and every team needs a utility man, and when your utility man is an international you need to keep him even more so. 

“I can see Mikel Arteta going on the charm offensive to try and keep him at the football club.”

Despite their thumping win at The Hawthorns, Arsenal (opens in new tab) remain in the bottom half of the Premier League after 17 games.

They return to action in the FA Cup next weekend, when Newcastle (opens in new tab) will provide the opposition at the Emirates.

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