Ainsley Maitland-Niles posts IG story pleading with Arsenal to let him leave
It's not an exaggeration to say Arsenal are in a full blown crisis. Their worst start to a league season since the 1950s, no sign of a plan on the pitch, widespread discontent among fans towards pretty much every aspect of the club, and now academy prospects begging the club to let them leave on social media.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles has had a turbulent relationship with Mikel Arteta, coming in and out of the team before being loaned out to West Bromwich Albion last season. So far this season, the England international has made one start in the EFL Cup and one substitute appearance in Arsenal's humiliating 5-0 defeat to Man City.
Earlier on Monday, reports circulated of Everton being in discussions with Arsenal over a proposed loan move for the versatile player with an option to buy.
The 24-year-old has since has since taken to Instagram to plead with the club to let him leave.
Writing on his story, and tagging the official Arsenal account, Maitland-Niles wrote: All I wanna do is go where I'm wanted and where I'm gonna play," adding a few crying face emojis for good measure.
With reports linking Ainsley Maitland-Niles with Everton, this is what he has just posted on his Instagram story... pic.twitter.com/IiQy8gbpfZ
— FootballJOE (@FootballJOE) August 30, 2021
Maitland-Niles will probably get his wish before Tuesday's transfer deadline, but the fact that players are posting stuff like this would suggest a toxic atmosphere has taken over the Arsenal dressing room.
The player was apparently called in for talks with the Gunners' sporting director, Edu and told the club would be keeping him. Still, if a solid offer comes in, the story may have another chapter or two in it.
Reports surfaced after the Man City defeat claiming the team would hold 'crisis talks' led by team captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. But the problems are Arsenal run deeper than the players on the pitch, and stretch back to Arteta's time as a player.
The manager's days appear to be numbered, but whoever comes in faces a mountainous challenge to arrest the decline that has seen the Gunners drop to bottom of the league, with no goals scored, after three games.