Ainsley Maitland-Niles is on the verge of becoming one of the “promising” product of Arsenal football academy who might not have the opportunity to fulfill his full potential at the club. The 22-year-old former England under-20 international has been reportedly lined up by Arsenal‘s board as one of the footballers that would have to go this summer in order to raise funds which would be used to bring in other players.
The club’s board has gone so far that a £30 million price-tag has been placed on him which means that the only thing that can keep him at Arsenal is if no club comes for his services. Such a scenario will be very ideal for the manager of the club Mikel Arteta who doesn’t want Ainsley Maitland-Niles to leave the club this summer.
According to viral reports, Mikel Arteta was recently involved in a serious argument with the board of the club over the future of Maitland-Niles. Despite his effort to convince the board that the England youngster was good enough to remain at the club, the board was able to prevail over the 38-year-old Spanish tactician which means that Maitland-Niles’ stay or exit from the club is no longer in the hands of Arteta.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ career and contract with Arsenal
Ainsley Maitland-Niles is a product of Arsenal’s Hale End Academy which he joined when he was 6-year-old. He gained promotion to Arsenal’s U21s during the 2013–14 season. on 24 October 2014, he signed his first professional football contract with Arsenal.
Maitland-Niles made his professional debut for the Gunners when he was 17-year-old during a Champions League match against Galatasaray on 9 December 2014. He made his first Premier League appearance for Arsenal on 13 December 2014.
Afterward, he found it difficult to establish himself in Arsenal’s first team and had to be sent on loan to Ipswich Town during the 2015-2016 season.
In less than two seasons after he returned from the season-long loan, Arsenal decided to offer him a contract extension on 12 June 2018 which has been earning him 1.8 Million Pound per year, about £36,086-per-week. His current contract with the Gunners will expire in June 2023.
Why Arsenal’s board wants Ainsley Maitland-Niles out
Arsenal football club was in the news recently that they have to let go of about 50 workers as a way to cushion the effect of the coronavirus pandemic. It didn’t end there, the club is also planning to let go of a couple of players including Ainsley Maitland-Niles in order to raise funds to reinvest into the club.
It was reported that the club needs at least £100 million which would be used to sign players during this summer transfer window. Some of the players the club intend to go for once the money has been generated include 24-year-old Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos, 27-year-old Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey and 22-year-old Lille defender Gabriel.
So, a player like Ainsley Ainsley Maitland-Niles who has records of controversies on and off the pitch has to be sacrificed for the incoming players.
More controversial reasons why Maitland-Niles must-go
Though Maitland-Niles has greatly improved his game of late especially after the coronavirus break, the youngster has proven that he still has a lot to learn in terms of discipline on the pitch.
Since he returned from a season-long loan spell at Ipswich Town in 2016, he has not shown much improvement in how to discipline he should be on the pitch. For instance, in the just concluded 2019-2020 Premier League season, Maitland-Niles has earned 4 yellow cards in 20 Premier League matches.
Though he has had some wonderful show of brilliance in the just concluded 2019-2020 season especially in Arsenal’s FA Cup semi-final match against Manchester City and the final against Chelsea which the club ended up winning, the English youngster has been a bit inconsistent with his performance.
Prior to the coronavirus break, Maitland-Niles has had to face sanctions within the club for always coming late to training. That cost him some game time not until in recent times that he was able to win over the heart of Mikel Arteta.
The drama between Ainsley Maitland-Niles and his mother Jules
Off the pitch, Maitland-Niles has brought a series of problems to the management of Arsenal football club especially when he was a teenager and under the then coach of the club Arsene Wenger. Such a problem involves the football star’s mother, Jules, who was banned from watching Maitland-Niles’ games in 2015 after he attacked Arsenal’s former chief negotiator Dick Law at their London Colney training ground.
That incident was not the only reason Jules was banned from watching her son play from the stands; before she was formerly banned, she was reportedly seen threatening to go on the pitch to drag out Maitland-Niles. Then, Arsenal’s star was just 17 and was playing with the club’s under-23 team.
Her action which cost her the pleasure of watching her son play from the stands was geared toward ensuring that Maitland-Niles has a secured future career at the club.
Besides that, it was revealed in June 2018 that Maitland-Niles has abandoned his mother Jules as she has become homeless despite the fact that he has been earning over £36,000-per-week as an Arsenal player.
According to an interview her mother granted in 2018, Maitland-Niles changed towards her because the money he has been earning at Arsenal has gotten into his head. As of 2018, reports claimed that Jules lives in a square metal storage crate while Maitland-Niles lives in a luxurious £700,000 apartment alongside his brother Cordi.