Everton have previously shown an interest in signing Ainsley Maitland-Niles, and should consider making a move for him again.
Everton have been linked with Ainsley Maitland-Niles before. The Englishman is now a free agent having left Arsenal when his contract expired at the end of last season. However, the Merseyside outfit haven’t made a push for his signature recently.
Everton certainly have a busy summer ahead of them. Sean Dyche’s side came perilously close to relegation last season and there has to be investment in the squad to ensure the club can steer clear of danger this time around.
However, the Toffees don’t have limitless funds to spend. The priority needs to be in securing a reliable goalscorer, so they will need to seek out bargains to bolster the squad elsewhere.
Why Everton should swoop for Ainsley Maitland-Niles
Maitland-Niles has struggled for form in recent campaigns. He failed to shine consistently in a poor Southampton side whilst on loan there last season. However, he has demonstrated his quality in the past. He was a regular for the Gunners a few years ago and even earned 5 senior England caps in 2020. He is very comfortable possession, and can pick a progressive pass. Former Saints boss Ruben Selles praised the “fantastic” Maitland-Niles for his “calmness in the build-up” play.
At 25-years-old, there’s plenty of time for Maitland-Niles to get back to his best. Dyche will certainly back himself to help the player rediscover his form.
What makes Maitland-Niles a particularly attractive prospect is his versatility. Whilst he prefers to operate in the middle of the park, he has lots of experience of playing at full-back, and can do so on either flank. Everton are clearly interested in strengthening here, and a move for the ex-Gunner makes more sense than bringing in a 38-year-old Ashley Young who is way past his best.
Whilst Maitland-Niles is available on a free transfer, Everton should act fast to secure his services.