This is a transfer deadline day which could either see Everton end up with three potential new signings or it could all fall apart.
Knowing the Toffees, it feels more likely that the latter eventuality will have fallen upon them by 11pm this evening.
Everton are trying to conclude deals for Salomon Rondon and Luis Diaz before the window slams shut.
However, they are also trying to wrap up a move for Ainsley Maitland-Niles. Rafa Benitez and co lodged a bid to sign the 24-year-old on loan with a future fee yesterday but that was battered away by Arsenal.
Since then, though, Maitland-Niles has revealed his outrage on social media and will now have talks with the Gunners about leaving north London.
David Ornstein provided an update on the player’s future on deadline day, tweeting: “Ainsley Maitland-Niles plans to meet with Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta this afternoon & request he be allowed to join Everton (EFC offer is loan plus option to buy). AFC must decide whether to sanction 24yo’s exit or keep unhappy player.”
If Everton really want Arsenal’s versatile youngster, they will need to make their move quickly and provide a bid that’s more reasonable than the one they proposed on Monday.
Although the 24-year-old hasn’t played much first-team football of late, he’d still be a great signing for the Toffees.
Firstly, they could do with an alternative right-back to Seamus Coleman. The Irishman’s contract expires the summer after next and there is no guarantee that he will sign new terms with the Merseyside outfit.
Furthermore, Everton cannot rely on the fitness of Fabian Delph and Jean-Philippe Gbamin in the middle of the park to provide them with much cover.
With that in mind, Maitland-Niles feels like a worthwhile acquisition. He could play on either side of the defence while offering a valuable option in the middle of the park as well.
He was part of Arsenal’s FA Cup-winning side in 2019/20, a run to which he contributed by playing at wing-back.
Because of the Gunners’ options in a central area, he has been restricted to featuring in that position. However, during a loan spell with West Brom last term, he stood out in the middle of the park throughout 15 Premier League appearances.
Maitland-Niles wasn’t involved in a goal at The Hawthorns but won an impressive 1.5 tackles and made 1.1 interceptions per game.
He was a classic box-to-box player, advancing forward and carrying the ball expertly into offensive areas. That saw him break opposition lines and complete 1.1 dribbles per game.
On that evidence, Everton should be doing all they can to conclude a deal for him. He is eager to escape Arsenal and is sitting on a plate for the Toffees, so Marcel Brands has to act.