Everton are reportedly keen on signing Ainsley Maitland-Niles on loan late in the summer transfer window, and are in talks with Arsenal for the 24-year-old.
According to a report by The Athletic, Everton have made their first move to sign Ainsley Maitland-Niles before the summer transfer window slams shut. The Toffees are currently in talks with Arsenal to sign the 24-year-old utility man on a season-long loan deal.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles has been with Arsenal since 2003, having joined the club’s academy as a six-year-old. After making swift progress through the ranks at the north London outfit, the player made his first-team debut in 2014, aged just 17. His breakthrough for the senior side, though, came in the 2017/18 season, with his versatility making him quite an asset for managers.
However, Maitland-Niles has seen his stock fall since the appointment of Mikel Arteta as the new first-team boss, and he spent the second half of last season on loan at West Bromwich Albion. As for his exploits at Arsenal, the 24-year-old has made 123 appearances while chipping in with three goals and eight assists. However, Arsenal are open to offloading him this summer, with Everton in his pursuit.
The interest from Everton is not too surprising, considering they could possibly use Maitland-Niles in one of two ways. The 24-year-old utility man could either be deployed as a right-back, possibly in rotation with Seamus Coleman, who is in the twilight of his career.
Everton have indeed been in the market for a right-back this summer, with the likes of Djed Spence, Aurelio Buta and Nathan Patterson being linked with them. However, Maitland-Niles is more of a viable target than the aforementioned trio, as the Arsenal man could even be an option in midfield.
With Andre Gomes facing an uncertain future at Goodison Park, Everton could well do with a midfield addition, which is where Maitland-Niles comes into the picture. And the Toffees have already made their move for the 24-year-old, having initiated talks with Arsenal over a loan deal.
Arsenal are, as per the report, considering the approach from Everton, and there is a feeling that a loan move could go through. What now remains to be seen is if the Merseyside giants do end up securing the services of Maitland-Niles, with his Arsenal future appearing to be bleak.