Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ old manager at West Brom, Sam Allardyce, has identified a problem he has with the Arsenal ace.
After going from one extreme to the other, the midfielder-turned-full-back will now stay at the Emirates.
It all started with a late approach from Everton to sign the England international on loan with an option to buy.
However, Arsenal rejected the bid as they did not believe the offer was good for the club despite the fact that Maitland-Niles was, at that moment, all but ostracised from the squad.
Mikel Arteta has big problems at right-back where he does not trust him, Hector Bellerin or Calum Chambers and has deployed Cedric Soares in the position.
Despite being a midfielder by trade, Maitland-Niles wanted to play at right-back as he believed it gave him a better chance of getting into the England squad, report The Athletic.
That is even with the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Reece James and Kyle Walker ahead of him in the pecking order.
Regardless, the rejected offer led to the 24-year-old writing on Instagram : “All I want to do is go where I’m wanted & where I’m going to play @Arsenal.”
And his former manager at West Brom, where he spent the latter half of last season on loan, has stated that he his position is a problem.
He said: “The problem with Ainsley is his position. His only position that he wants to play is centre midfield.
“The reason he came to West Brom – which he forced through – Edu and Arteta didn’t want him to come, was because I said he’d play in midfield.”
A transfer on Tuesday failed to transpire despite the full-back’s pleas and he looks set to stay at Arsenal until January at least.
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But the player and Arteta held clear-the-air talks where the manager insisted that he was part of his plans.
Arsenal were unhappy with Maitland-Niles’ social media post but are prepared to put it behind them for the sake of the club.
The departure of Bellerin will also see his chances boosted to claim a spot at right-back, while the problems in midfield also remain.
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Granit Xhaka’s red card against Manchester City means he is now suspended while Thomas Partey’s injury problems still linger.
Meanwhile, Takehiro Tomiyasu has signed from Bologna for around £20m after Arsenal beat Tottenham to his signature.
He joins to bolster Arteta’s defence and will either compete with fellow new boy Ben White or at right-back for a spot in the side.