According to journalist Alex Crook, Southampton are “still hopeful” of signing Arsenal’s Ainsley Maitland-Niles on transfer deadline day.
The Gunners’ versatile ace has become one of the hottest properties in the Premier League over the past couple of days, with a number of teams seemingly interested in taking him on loan for the rest of the season.
He claims that whilst there’s no “tangible progress made” just yet, the Saints are “still hopeful of getting it done”.
— Alex Crook ⚽️🎙 (@alex_crook) January 31, 2021
After seeing the likes Theo Walcott, Ibrahima Diallo and Oriol Romeu make the long walk back down the tunnel in the controversial 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa, Hasenhuttl must be wringing his hands wondering where on earth his luck has gone.
The Saints boss is already short on natural full-back cover, so much so that James Ward-Prowse had to fill in as a right-back. It’s exactly why the versatile Maitland-Niles is such a badly needed option for Hasenhuttl on deadline day.
The England international has played as a full-back, wing-back, central midfielder and even out wide in his career, and given that reports have even suggested that the £16.2m-rated Maitland-Niles wants a move in this transfer window where he can play in the middle of the park, surely the Southampton manager can now convince him he can get that opportunity to do so at St Mary’s?
Writing for The Athletic, Dan Sheldon said: “If Ainsley Maitland-Niles was fretting about joining Southampton over concerns of a lack of game time, then Saturday evening should convince him to opt for the St Mary’s side over West Brom and Leicester.”
Crook’s update is a promising sign for Hasenhuttl’s side on deadline day.