Arsenal: 3 players to not sell… yet

Arsenal, Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Photo by Roland Krivec/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
Arsenal, Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Photo by Roland Krivec/DeFodi Images via Getty Images) /
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Mikel Arteta, Arsenal
LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 01: Ainsley Maitland-Niles of Arsenal battles for possession with Nemanja Matic of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Manchester United at Emirates Stadium on January 01, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images) /

2. Ainsley Maitland-Niles

The Athletic report that Ainsley Maitland-Niles has ‘fallen out of contention and is likely to move this summer.’

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Maitland-Niles was excellent in the early period of Arteta’s tenure. He started the first five league matches with Hector Bellerin on the sidelines and looked supremely comfortable in the inverted right-back role that Arteta required, using Maitland-Niles’ midfield experience with great effect. He was comfortable on the ball, defensively focused, and looked set to rival Bellerin at the position.

Then, as soon as Bellerin returned to fitness, Maitland-Niles was nowhere to be seen. He dropped out of the starting XI and eventually slipped behind centre-back Sokratis in the pecking order, the Greek international filling in when Bellerin needed rest.

There have been suggestions that Maitland-Niles has attitude issues, refusing to play at right-back and not working hard enough in training. While that is concerning, his versatility is worth investing in. His contract does not expire until 2023, his price will be hugely deflated in the current market, and if he is willing to address his work-rate, he can still be a valuable piece of the squad. Eventually, Arsenal may have to sell, but not yet.