“My journey at Arsenal is over”; Maitland-Niles confirms

“My journey at Arsenal is over”; Maitland-Niles confirms

Ainsley Maitland-Niles told The Athletic that he will become a free agent this summer and depart Arsenal.

The England international joined the club at the age of six and made his Champions League debut under Arsene Wenger at the age of 17.

Since 2014, he has made 132 appearances for the club, playing in both full-back positions and across the midfield. He is valued for his versatility.

since 2014 he has made 132 appearances

In the months after Mikel Arteta took over as manager, he enjoyed his greatest success with the club as a left wing-back. In 2020, his performances helped the Arsenal win the FA Cup and gained him the first of five England caps.

This should have been the basis for a successful tenure at the Emirates, but it hasn’t worked out that way. Unconvinced about playing defense, he fell out of favor and was then enticed by other opportunities. It was evident he was unhappy when transfers to Wolves and Everton fell through in consecutive summers.

Subsequently, he spent time on loan with West Bromwich Albion and AS Roma before joining Southampton in September for the current season.

The Gunners had the option to extend Maitland-Niles’ current contract by one year, but opted against doing so. Thus, Southampton’s option to purchase the player has been canceled, and the 25-year-old is now responsible for his own future. It is improbable that he would remain at St. Mary’s if they are relegated, despite his claim.

“It’s been an incredible journey, but it’s over (at Arsenal),” he told The Athletic.

“It is time to start over and locate a new home. I’m looking forward to it, but my mind is currently focused on the current situation with Southampton.

“I’m solely focused on helping us remain up and positive on a daily basis and on winning games. As the end of the season approaches, I will consider something else. Currently, however, I am only concerned with football and the mission at hand.

“Southampton is a fantastic club where I can develop and gain valuable playing time.” Certainly, if they make an offer, I will gladly accept.”

“My journey at Arsenal is over”; Maitland-Niles confirms