According to Radio Solent’s Sports Editor, Adam Blackmore, Ainsley Maitland-Niles is keen on a move to Southampton, but Arsenal “will have the final decision”.
Recent reports have suggested that Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side are very much interested in signing the England international, but that they face competition from the likes of West Brom and Leicester City.
Now, Blackmore has claimed that the 23-year-old is “keen to come” to St Mary’s, but that Arsenal will be assessing their own injuries before making the final call.
That’s a live one – but we knew that – the player is keen to come, Saints and Maitland-Niles are happy – but Arsenal will have the final decision and will assess their injuries before making a final call
— Adam Blackmore (@AdamBlackmore) February 1, 2021
If there’s any deal that Martin Semmens should be prioritising on transfer deadline day for Southampton, then it’s the one for Maitland-Niles.
Given the Arsenal academy product’s incredible versatility – he can fill in at full-back, central midfield and even out wide – he would tick a lot of boxes for Hasenhuttl who is in the midst of an injury crisis at St Mary’s.
Even in this past week’s Premier League clash against Aston Villa, the likes of Ibrahima Diallo, Oriol Romeu and Theo Walcott were all forced off, and given the recent injury troubles to Kyle Walker-Peters too, Hasenhuttl will be desperate for some added reinforcements.
Completing multiple deals on deadline day to address all those separate issues would be difficult, but in Maitland-Niles, Semmens can go a long way to ensuring Southampton’s boss isn’t left short heading in this second-half of the Premier League campaign by swooping for the Arsenal man.
It’s the one player the Saints should be focusing most of their efforts on transfer deadline day.