West Brom complete signing of Ainsley Maitland-Niles on loan from Arsenal
West Brom have secured the signing of Arsenal midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles on loan for the rest of the season.
Maitland-Niles is a product of the Arsenal youth academy and has broke into the senior squad over the past few years to be utilised by Unai Emery and then Mikel Arteta.
However, he has never secured a place as a guaranteed starter, and when he has been given minutes it has usually been out of position in one of the full-back roles.
With a place in England’s Euro 2020 squad still on his mind, Maitland-Niles is eager to leave the Emirates on loan this January in order to gain some first team football.
Leicester and Southampton were previously leading the race to land the 23-year-old on loan, but Arsenal are apparently unwilling to loan him out to a team who are one of their rivals for European qualification.
West Brom then emerged as the most likely destination at the back end of last week, with Maitland-Niles completing his medical this Monday on deadline day.
Newcastle were also interested in a loan deal, but were also in talks with Arsenal for Joe Willock and Premier League rules state that a team cannot have two loan players from the same club.
In a meeting with Arteta and technical director Edu on Monday, Maitland-Niles made it known that his preference was a loan move to Leicester, but was told that wouldn’t be possible for the aforementioned reasons about the Foxes competing for Europe.
The player was the subject of a £15m offer from Wolves in the summer, which was rejected by the Gunners.
At West Brom, Maitland-Niles is more likely to get the first-team football he desires with the Baggies struggling against relegation.