Arsenal ace Ainsley Maitland-Niles has confirmed his plans to leave the club on a free transfer this summer.
The 25-year-old has struggled for playing time at the Emirates Stadium in recent years, going out on loan to Southampton this season, as well as with Roma last year and West Brom the season before that.
It remains to be seen where Maitland-Niles will go next, but he’s confirmed to The Athletic that his time at Arsenal will be coming to an end.
The report adds that Southampton had a clause to make Maitland-Niles’ loan move permanent, but with AFC deciding to let him leave at the end of his contract, that’s no longer valid.
The player himself, however, has admitted he’s focused on helping Southampton survive, and that he’d be open to staying with the Saints if they make him an offer.
“It’s been a great journey but it has come to an end now (at Arsenal). It’s time for a fresh start and to find a new home. I’m looking forward to that but, at the same time, my head’s not quite there yet and it’s all about what’s happening now with Southampton,” he told The Athletic.
“I’m just fully focused on trying to help us stay up and stay positive on a day-to-day basis and win games. When the time gets closer towards the end of the season, I’ll have something else to think about. But right now, I’m just focused on football and the task at hand.
“Southampton is a great club to be at and progress and get some minutes under my belt. Of course, if they were to make an offer, I’ll be more than happy to stay.”
Some Arsenal fans will be disappointed to lose this decent squad player, who showed real promise earlier in his career and who would surely still have something to offer as a squad player.
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