Rafa Benitez has endured a vibrant start to his life at Goodison Park with Everton picking up seven points from their opening three games.
However, deadline day hasn’t been an easy state of affairs for the Spaniard.
Everton have been trying their best to wrap up some late business in the window but so far they’ve been unsuccessful.
Although reports believe that Salomon Rondon could still arrive, they have suffered blows in their pursuits of Luis Diaz and Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
The former is unlikely to arrive with James Rodriguez struggling to find himself a new club.
As for the latter, he is now likely to remain at Arsenal after clear-the-air talks ended with him deciding his future was in north London, as opposed to Merseyside.
That’s according to Dharmesh Sheth who revealed the following on Sky Sports News’ coverage of deadline day:
“I have been speaking to someone. This is the information I’ve got: If a suitable offer came in for Maitland-Niles then Arsenal would consider but they still maintain he’d be an important member of the squad.
“Now, I’m told that the option to buy from Everton was low, hence why it was rejected and as a result, Maitland-Niles will be remaining at Arsenal beyond the transfer window and into the season. Our information is that Arsenal were quite disappointed with the action Maitland-Niles took on social media but they have had clear the air talks and all parties want to move forward with him part of that Arsenal squad.”
After the events surrounding a move for Diaz, the Everton boss will surely be gutted to miss out on yet another acquisition.
With Maitland-Niles possessing the ability to play in several positions across the park, he would have been the ultimate utility man for Everton. Thus, not sealing his signature will come as a huge blow.
This is not just a young player with plenty of potential, but it’s also one with proven Premier League experience, someone who’d have needed very little time to settle in.
Since rising up through the ranks of the Arsenal academy, Maitland-Niles has played 123 times for the senior team while making 80 top-flight appearances which includes outings for West Brom on loan last term.
During those games, the 24-year-old has played in no fewer than eight positions; a quite incredible statistic.
With that in mind, it would have been difficult for Benitez to pass on this signing. Perhaps this is a deal they can revisit in the winter if he’s still not received game time.
For now, however, the Everton manager will be incredibly frustrated.