Everton are already getting stuck into the transfer window, making the first signing of the month in the Premier League after securing a deal with Vitaliy Mykolenko for an undisclosed fee this morning, and now they could be on course to make a second January move.
The Mirror have reported that the Toffees are ‘watching developments’ on Ainsley Maitland-Niles, as Serie A club Roma are also speculated to swoop in with a possible loan move for the Arsenal player.
Everton were said to be keen on signing the 24-year-old back in the summer, after The Athletic reported in August that they were in talks for a season-long loan deal with an option to buy in the latter stages of the transfer window. However, nothing materialised in the end and Maitland-Niles remained an Arsenal player going into the 2021/22 season.
According to Corriere della Sera (via Sports Mole), Arsenal are holding out for a £12.6m bid for the player; and with this information coming to light, Rafael Benitez could swoop in with an offer to stop fellow suitors Roma.
Everton are in desperate need to pick up on results and climb back up the Premier League table from their current position of 15th, with only five wins so far.
Maitland-Niles has had eight appearances for Arteta’s team this season with one assist. The advantages of his diversity in positioning – playing as a left wing back, central midfielder and right back in his career so far – could add tremendous depth to the Toffees’ squad if they were to sign him in the January transfer window.
The £48k-p/w beast has been dubbed “the next Gareth Bale” by Tony Cascarino when he wrote about the player in his article for The Times, gushing: “I saw the next Gareth Bale on Thursday, and he was wearing an Arsenal shirt.”
Peter Crouch has previously hailed the midfielder, telling BT Sport: ‘I thought Maitland-Niles was fantastic in that midfield role, I really like him in there.
‘I think he’s tremendous, I really like him. He’s got energy and he’s calm on the ball. He was full of confidence.”
Benitez has already iterated that the club will be making moves in the transfer window, already sealing the signing of Mykolenko and potentially landing a great coup in Maitland-Niles, judging by the comments from the likes of Cascarino and Crouch.