Everton are reportedly lining up a move for Arsenal utility man Ainsley Maitland-Niles in the upcoming January transfer window.
According to a report from Transfer Market Web, versatile Arsenal star Ainsley Maitland-Niles has once again emerged as a transfer target for fellow Premier League Everton ahead of the winter transfer window.
Maitland-Niles is a product of the Arsenal youth academy and has been around the first-team for years now, without never really nailing down a starting berth. Despite having been a central midfielder primarily, the 24-year-old has been largely used as a full-back on either side by Arsene Wenger, Unai Emery and Mikel Arteta as well.
However, Maitland-Niles seemed to have dropped well down the pecking order under the Spaniard over the past year, which led to him spending the second half of the last season on loan at West Bromwich Albion before pushing for an exit in the summer transfer window. Everton were among a number of clubs interested, but a move never materialised.
Having stayed put at the Emirates Stadium, Maitland-Niles has featured six times in the new season, playing most of those games in his preferred position in the middle of the park. Nonetheless, Everton are prepared to test the waters with another approach for the 24-year-old England international in the January transfer window.
The report further mentions that Everton see Maitland-Niles as an option at right-back and not for the central midfield role. The Toffees lack a proper cover for captain Seamus Coleman in the right-back slot, with the Irishman having struggled with fitness issues of late. As a result, the club had tried to make additions to the position during the summer but to no avail.
Attempts are set to be made to sign a right-back in the upcoming transfer window, with former Tottenham Hotspur defender Serge Aurier being on the club’s radar, while young Scottish talent Calvin Ramsey is also a player that has been linked with a switch to Goodison Park. Amidst all this, the interest in Maitland-Niles seems to have resurfaced again as well.
What now remains to be seen is if Everton do decide to go after the 24-year-old Arsenal utility man again or look at a natural right-back who can go on to replace Coleman in the long-term at Goodison Park.