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West Ham: ExWHUemployee drops Ainsley Maitland-Niles claim

West Ham United are interested in a deal to bring Ainsley Maitland-Niles to the London Stadium this summer.

What’s the talk?

That’s according to ExWHUemployee, with the club insider revealing in a recent post on The West Ham Way that David Moyes is considering a number of domestic loan moves over the remainder of the summer transfer window, with one target of the 59-year-old believed to be the versatile Arsenal midfielder.

However, Ex goes on to suggest that Mikel Arteta’s side would prefer to move the 24-year-old on a permanent basis this summer, with the Gunners believed to be demanding a figure in the region of €15m (£12.5m) for the England international – something that could cause a problem in West Ham’s pursuit.

The next Lingard

While it is undeniable that Maitland-Niles has fallen down the Arsenal pecking order in recent years – starting just two Premier League fixtures in the 2021/22 campaign, before being shipped out on loan in January – should Moyes believe that he can finally be the coach to help the 24-year-old realise his “huge talent” – in the words of Arteta – the midfielder’s signing could well prove to be something of a masterstroke by the Hammers boss.

Indeed, the 59-year-old has something of a habit of being able to rejuvenate overlooked players at big six clubs, something that was evidenced by Jesse Lingard’s short-term loan spell at the London Stadium back in 2020/21.

Despite having failed to play a single Premier League minute for Manchester United in the first half of the season, the £16.2m-rated attacking midfielder proved to be something of a revelation for the Hammers following his switch to east London in January 2021 – scoring nine goals, registering five assists and creating three big chances over his 16 league outings for the club.

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West Ham United manager David Moyes applauds the fans

How many points did West Ham end the Premier League season with?

These returns saw the 32-cap England international average a rather remarkable SofaScore match rating of 7.19, not only ranking him as West Ham’s best performer in the league that season, but also as the 20th-best player in the English top flight as a whole.

As such, with the £52k-per-week Arsenal midfielder – who is “versatile enough to adapt to almost any position on the pitch” – also having somewhat fallen off the face of the earth after an extremely bright start to his career in north London, should Moyes believe he can have the same impact on the 24-year-old as he did on Lingard, Maitland-Niles could well prove to be an extremely astute signing for the Scot to make in the coming weeks.

Indeed, with Connor Humm dubbing the £9m-rated talent “unreal” as recently as last year, it is evident that the five-cap international still possesses the ability to make it at the very top of the English game, all it requires is a manager who knows how to get this potential out of the midfielder on a consistent basis for the Arsenal academy graduate to finally become what many predicted of him during his formative years.