Nottingham Forest head coach Steve Cooper has some reservations over signing Arsenal utility man Ainsley Maitland-Niles. The Athletic journalist Daniel Taylor made the claim during a Forest Q&A.
Arsenal are willing to let Maitland-Niles leave the club this summer. He spent the second half of last season on loan at Roma and had a short spell with West Brom during 2020/21.
The 24-year-old is a graduate of the Arsenal academy. He has risen through the ranks and made 132 appearances for the senior outfit at the Emirates Stadium.
Under Mikel Arteta, he’s failed to hold down a regular place in the team. The Spaniard has loaned him out twice and it’s pretty clear that he can’t offer him regular football.
Maitland-Niles can play in a number of positions. He can play in either wing-back position, whilst he’s also well-versed when it comes to playing as a central midfielder.
But, it would seem that Cooper isn’t convinced. In response to a question from a Forest fan, Taylor appears to dismiss the likelihood of Maitland-Niles arriving at Forest.
He said: “I think Steve Cooper had some reservations and, though there were discussions, he wasn’t deemed a priority.
“There will be a list of six or seven options for each position. That gets narrowed down to two or three and there are others who figure above Maitland-Niles.”
Cooper has Maitland-Niles reservations and Forest will move on
With Forest nearing three new wing-backs, it would seem that the Arsenal man is out of the picture. It’s been reported that Neco Williams, Omar Richards and Harry Toffolo are all nearing deals at the City Ground.
Maitland-Niles might have been a useful signing but he wouldn’t have come cheap. Arsenal would have wanted a sizeable fee plus the youngster earns £48,000-a-week as a basic salary in North London.
Forest won’t sign every single player that they get linked with this summer. Maitland-Niles is likely to be on the radar of several clubs but he might have to forget popping Nottingham into his Sat Nav anytime soon.