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West Ham offered chance to sign Ainsley Maitland-Niles

West Ham United have been handed the opportunity to sign Arsenal midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles, according to recent reports.

What’s the word?

As per the Evening Standard, the Hammers have been ‘offered the chance’ to sign the 24-year-old this summer by the Emirates outfit, with Mikel Arteta’s side said to be keen to ‘offload’ the Englishman before the window closes.

The report suggests that the east Londoners are now ‘keeping tabs’ on the five-cap gem – who is keen on a move with just a year remaining on his existing deal – although he is not a ‘priority’ as things stand.

The report goes on to add that David Moyes and co would prefer a loan deal if they are to swoop in the coming days, albeit with the Gunners looking for a permanent exit amid the risk of losing the 5 foot 11 machine for nothing next year.

Huge signing

While West Ham’s head of recruitment Rob Newman has already wrapped up seven major deals so far this summer, the Englishman could well secure another notable coup with the addition of Maitland-Niles, having effectively been handed the player on a plate by those in north London.

Arsenal’s loss could well be the Irons’ gain with the club able to bring in an asset whom Arteta previously described as a “huge talent”, with the versatile gem potentially set to be a real astute piece of business for GSB.

Comfortable in a variety of roles – namely at full-back and in central midfield – the £9m-rated ace would certainly tick a lot of boxes for Moyes, with the player’s ability to also play in a wing-back role offering the Scotsman greater flexibility with his tactical set-up.

Should West Ham sign Maitland-Niles?

No, not convinced

No, not convinced

Yes!

Yes!

While it hasn’t quite worked out at his current side for the £35k-per-week man after rising through the youth ranks, he remains a “tremendous” talent nonetheless – according to pundit Peter Crouch – and has still managed to rack up 132 appearances for the Gunners to date.

Even amid a difficult spell on loan at AS Roma in the second half of last season, the Three Lions international still recorded some eye-catching statistics, notably winning 89% of his aerial duels from his eight Serie A outings for Jose Mourinho’s side – a record far better than that of Vladimir Coufal (49%) and Aaron Cresswell (57%) for instance.

While he featured as a full-back/wing-back during his time at the Stadio Olimpico, his preferred position is seemingly that of central midfield, with pundit Martin Keown previously lauding him as a “Rolls-Royce of a player” in that role.

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With West Ham currently devoid of quality depth beyond Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek in the centre of the park, Maitland-Niles could well provide both cover and competition for the pair, as well as offering an added bonus due to his adaptability to feature elsewhere.

It may not be the most high-profile addition of the summer, but it could prove to be a ‘huge’ signing if Newman can pull it off.

Article title: West Ham offered chance to sign Ainsley Maitland-Niles

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