Embarrassment for Arsenal as Maitland-Niles asks to leave on Instagram

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  • 24-year-old says he wants to be at a club where he is ‘wanted’
  • Everton hoping to sign England international on loan

Arsenal have endured further embarrassment after Ainsley Maitland‑Niles pleaded to be allowed to leave in an extraordinary outburst on social media as he attempts to force through a move to Everton.

The England international, who could become the latest academy product to leave the Emirates Stadium before the transfer window closes on Tuesday night, made his feelings clear in a post on Instagram as Arsenal deliberated an offer from Everton to take him on loan for the rest of the season. “All I want to do is go where I’m wanted & where I’m going to play @Arsenal,” he wrote.

The 24-year-old made his first Premier League appearance of the season as a substitute during the 5-0 defeat at Manchester City on Saturday, as Mikel Arteta’s side slumped to a third successive loss that left them bottom of the Premier League.

Yet the regular right-back, Héctor Bellerín, is being linked to his boyhood club Barcelona, having made it clear he wants to leave, and it remains to be seen whether Arsenal will sanction Maitland-Niles’s move to Goodison Park.

Eddie Nketiah could also depart for Crystal Palace as negotiations continue over a fee for the 22‑year‑old striker. Arsenal originally wanted £20m, with Palace having indicated they are willing to pay only around £12m for a player whose contract expires next year.

Arsenal have already sold Joe Willock to Newcastle for £22m and Reiss Nelson could be allowed to join Feyenoord on loan as part of the exodus of former youth-team players to free up funds, the club having spent about £130m on Ben White, Martin Ødegaard, Aaron Ramsdale and Albert Sambi Lokonga this summer.

Arsenal have also confirmed that Willian has left the club for Corinthians after his contract was terminated by mutual consent.

The Brazil international, who joined Arsenal from Chelsea 12 months ago, had two years to run on his deal but has decided to call it quits after a very poor season for Arteta’s side. He made 37 appearance during the 2020-21 campaign and very little impact.

“Following positive and constructive recent discussions with him [Willian] and his team, he will be leaving for a new opportunity with Corinthians in Brazil, where he began his career,” read an Arsenal statement.


(By Ed Aarons, The Guardian, 30.08.2021)

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