In a recent report, The Daily Mail has revealed that Wolverhampton Wanderers are ready to make an improved bid for Arsenal full-back Ainsley Maitland-Niles this summer. It is believed that the English talent is desperately hoping to secure regular first-team football this season which could open the door for Wolves to acquire his services during this summer transfer window (via The Daily Mail).
Maitland-Niles’ Solid Career At North London So Far
The London-born player has become a useful squad player for the Gunners over the past few seasons and has gone on to make 101 appearances for them, registering three goals and five assists in various competitions. Maitland-Niles played the full 90 minutes in the FA Community Shield win over Liverpool last month. He has also lifted the FA Cup thrice with his boyhood club in recent years.
The 23-year-old scored one goal and provided two assists in 33 appearances for Arsenal in the previous campaign on all fronts. The versatile footballer did well to find some consistency last season when he averaged 1.9 tackles, 1.3 interceptions, 1.4 clearances, 0.5 key passes and 0.8 dribbles per game in the Premier League and the UEFA Europa League. He was also quite neat with his ball-distribution as evident from his pass success rate of 81.9% in the English first division (stats via whoscored).
Maitland-Niles cannot afford to continue assuming a sporadic role in Mikel Arteta’s squad next season as it will hamper his long-term development in England. Maybe a potential move to Wolves could be a welcome opportunity for him to make a fresh start and establish himself as a regular feature at the highest level.
What Will The English Defensive Ace Add To Nuno Espirito Santo’s Side?
Maitland-Niles is extremely versatile as he can play in multiple positions across the pitch. The English workhorse can operate in both full-back positions or play an advanced role as a winger on either flank if needed. Arsenal has sometimes used him as a holding midfielder in the recent past which has only raised his worth as a squad player at the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners have often relied on his pace to provide adequate cover for the centre-backs when the opposition are looking to hit them on the counter. Maitland-Niles is a decent interceptor of the ball and can even pull off some crucial clearances for his side at the back.
Is Maitland-Niles The Right Choice For Wolves?
Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo has often preferred to play with wing-backs in his first-team, so he can make full use of a player as versatile as Maitland-Niles this season. He will enhance the quality of the West Midlands club’s starting XI significantly at the Molineux Stadium in the coming years. Plus, he will undoubtedly increase competition for places within the Wolves squad that might help them challenge for a European spot once again in the 2020-21 Premier League campaign.
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