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Should Everton sign Ainsley Maitland-Niles?

The transfer window is still a couple of weeks away but Everton are already being linked with a plethora of names in the transfer market.

With a right winger being at the height of Carlo Ancelotti’s priorities, we’ve seen an extraordinary link to Gareth Bale.

That said, another position where they’ve been trying to bolster their numbers is in midfield.

On the chalkboard

One of Ancelotti’s best accomplishments while at Goodison Park on the transfer front has been the improvement in the middle of the park.

Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure have added some extra bite, but what they could do with now is bit more manoeuvrability. For instance, they have targeted Fulham star Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, a player who has completed 95 dribbles this term, the third-highest in the league.

A similar sort of dynamic midfielder can be found in Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who has spent the second half of the season on loan at relegated West Brom but is due to head back to Arsenal in the summer.

Should Everton sign Maitland-Niles?

Yes please!

Yes please!

No way!

No way!

The Gunners are thought to be seeking £20m in order to let him leave permanently, with Everton one of the clubs reportedly interested in him.

A full England international, Maitland-Niles has found it hard to truly establish where his best position lies. Ancelotti might be able to help him in that regard, but his ability to play in a multitude of areas can only be a good thing.

The 23-year-old would add greater depth at full-back, where Seamus Coleman is entering the final year of his contract on Merseyside, whilst he could add something different to Everton’s midfield.

Described as a “diamond” by Chris Sutton, the Arsenal youngster has the ability to track back but then attack in equal measure.

What sets him apart is his speed, especially in the middle. Speaking about a performance for the north Londoners last December, Martin Keown said: “It looks so easy for him at times and you can tell he’s got gears. You rarely get a player with his pace in that role. I would have loved that as a player. He’s a Rolls-Royce of a player at times.”

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What year did Everton wear this home strip?

Everton have pace out wide with the likes of Lucas Digne and Richarlison running rampant down the left flank, but they don’t exactly have much of that quality in central areas. Allan, Doucoure, Tom Davies and Andre Gomes are not the quickest of players, but Maitland-Niles could help to counteract that.

He has now matured in a midfield position, starring for the Baggies despite their relegation. The Arsenal loanee won 1.6 tackles and completed 1.1 dribbles per game under Sam Allardyce.

That tackle rate is only bettered by Allan and Doucoure from a midfield perspective at Goodison, while only the former has achieved more dribbles per game in 2020/21 from those to feature centrally.

This would evidently be a shrewd addition from Marcel Brands and co if they can pull it off.

AND in other news, Everton consider summer swoop for £25m “machine”, he’d be a huge upgrade on Gomes…

Article title: Should Everton sign Ainsley Maitland-Niles?

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