Nottingham Forest will step up their efforts to sign Arsenal utility man Ainsley Maitland-Niles, according to Sky Sports. The player has now returned from his holiday and is looking to get hooked up with a new club.

The Hale End graduate has fallen down the pecking order under Mikel Arteta. He spent the second half of 2020/21 on loan with West Brom and spent the second half of last season playing under Jose Mourinho at Roma.

Maitland-Niles was on the bench last month as Roma won the inaugural Europa Conference League with Mourinho at the helm. In total, Maitland-Niles made 12 appearances for the Seria A outfit.

Forest want Maitland-Niles
(Photo; Silvia Lore; Getty Images)

It will be intriguing to see where Steve Cooper sees the player featuring. Under Mourinho, he played largely as a right or left wing-back, but at West Brom, he was utilised as a central midfield player.

Maitland-Niles’ versatility is likely to be why Cooper is pursuing his signature. He likes to have an element of flexibility with the systems he uses and the Arsenal man will help with that.

Forest are looking set to lose the race to sign Djed Spence. He looks set for Tottenham and as a result, perhaps the Reds will see Maitland-Niles as their right wing-back for next season.

Cooper is set to complete his first signing of the summer in the near future. Dean Henderson has agreed to join the club from Manchester United; with the rebuild starting from the back.

Forest want to sign Maitland-Niles and his versatility could be key

This could be an exciting addition to the Forest ranks. Maitland-Niles looks to have played his last game for Arsenal and they appear keen to sell him during the transfer window.

The 24-year-old fits the profile of what Forest are now trying to do on the recruitment side of things. He is young, would retain some sell-on value and crucially he can play in a number of positions.

Forest want Maitland-Niles
(Photo; Sebastian Frej; MB Media; Getty Images)

Maitland-Niles has made 132 appearances for Arsenal. He’s never really been able to hold down a regular place in the team, however, and he will be looking to put some roots down and play regularly.

This looks like a useful signing on the face of things. The player certainly ticks a lot of boxes and he could prove a decent alternative to Spence should he join Tottenham as expected.

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