Leicester have joined the race to sign Ainsley Maitland-Niles, a much-requested utility from Arsenal.
Maitland-Niles is looking forward to leaving the Gunners after falling down the pecking order in recent weeks. The 23-year-old has not been in any of his side’s last three Premier League games and wants to start playing regularly to maximize his chances of making the England squad this summer.
His chances of a strong comeback in the first-team setup at Arsenal appear slim, with Bukayo Saka in good shape and Gabriel Martinelli returning from injury.
Interest in him is omnipresent 90 mins reporting that West Brom, Southampton and Newcastle are all attached to him earlier this week. According to the Daily Mirror, Leicester has now tossed his hat into the ring with the Foxes keen to sign him on loan with an option to buy this summer.
Maitland-Niles endured a stop-and-start career in north London for some time, thanks to a combination of insignificant injuries and inconsistent selection. That said, he played every minute of the quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final in Arsenal’s FA Cup victory last season.
He also managed to find his way into the last three Lions teams of Gareth Southgate. Without always arriving on the field, he accumulated three caps playing in several different positions.
Although he is frequently used as a full-back, he is said to see his future in midfield. This might suit him well for Leicester’s current needs, with Maitland-Niles able to play one of the Fox’s two great midfield roles, while providing cover for their in-form defenders. Southampton’s desire to use him as a full-back is believed to limit their chances of securing a deal on the line.