Mike Ashley should go all out to seal a late deal for Newcastle United to sign Arsenal’s Ainsley Maitland-Niles on Deadline Day.
According to The Telegraph’s Luke Edwards, the Magpies were unsuccessful in efforts to sign Maitland-Niles on loan with United unable to agree on financial terms with the Gunners.
Reports by The Athletic claim that Maitland-Niles had also been West Bromwich Albion’s top-target for Deadline Day, but they have seemingly missed out on the England international too, with the 23-year-old weighing up offers to join Southampton and Leicester City.
It is added that the Foxes would be Maitland-Niles’ preferred destination if he is to leave the Emirates before Monday night’s deadline passes, with Brendan Rodgers keen on a deal after Dennis Praet and Wilfred Ndidi both suffered injuries.
Maitland-Niles moving to the King Power Stadium, in a deal that could include an option to buy the Arsenal product, is expected to allow Hamza Choudhury to leave Leicester on loan amid interest from Newcastle.
Steve Bruce should be urging Managing Director Lee Charnley and owner Ashley to go all out for Maitland-Niles on Deadline Day and come up with an offer simply too good for Arsenal to refuse, and then set about changing the £35,000-per-week dynamo’s mind.
Maitland-Niles would be the perfect late addition for the Magpies as they look to build momentum from Saturday’s 2-0 win at Everton and pull further clear of the relegation zone, as the Gunners’ self-proclaimed “workhorse” has fantastic drive and room for growth.
Arsenal icon Martin Keown could only wax lyrical over his efforts in the centre of midfield after Mikel Arteta’s side beat Rapid Vienna in the Europa League earlier this season, telling BT Sport via quotes by the Metro: “He impressed me, it looks so easy for him at times and you can tell he’s got gears.”
Peter Crouch further added: “‘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.”
Maitland-Niles also impresses when fielded as a left-wing-back, proving excellent going forward and alert defensively against Chelsea in the FA Cup Final last summer, while former England international Chris Sutton described him as a “versatile talent, a diamond” in his Daily Mail column after playing a key role in the Gunners’ Community Shield when over Liverpool last August.
Thus Bruce would solve two issues in one with a swoop for Maitland-Niles on Deadline Day, having scoured the market all winter for a new box-to-box midfielder and full-back. It just remains to be seen if Ashley is willing to put his hand in his pocket to get a deal done.