Arsenal continue their exit parade this January by looking to potentially send off three of their Hale End graduates on loan for more time. We are still waiting for confirmation on the loan deal, but Willock moving to Newcastle may also be just around the corner. Steve Bruce pretty openly stated that Willock was his number one target for this January window.
A loan for Reiss Nelson doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen any more, but Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ loan saga has come to a conclusion.
At one point, Arsenal’s versatile wingback/midfielder/defender was linked with Southampton, Newcastle, West Brom, and even Leicester City, but as the deadline approached, it fizzled down to Southampton and West Brom.
Early in the day, Southampton pulled their interest due to AMN “taking too long” and showing signs of disinterest, given he was not likely to be played in the midfield, his preferred position.
There was suggestion that Southampton grew weary of negotiating with Nile’s representatives as well.
It’s left Ainsley with interest from relegation scrappers West Bromwich as the club he is destined for. What is unclear is the role Big Sam will have him take up with the Baggies and if that fits the path Maitland-Niles sees for himself or was simply the only option left.
This will be a loan deal, which means he will still return to Arsenal at the end of the season, but what Arsenal chooses to do with him may depend on how strongly he finishes the season. Arsenal turned down an offer for under-£20m from Wolverhampton over the summer that looks like a decent offer in hindsight if the Gunners are going to end up selling him anyhow.
Time will tell, but for now, Maitland-Niles will be a Baggie trying to keep West Brom in the Premier League.