Maitland-Niles feels he has to leave Arsenal for first-team football

Ainsley Maitland-Niles has come to the conclusion that the writing is on the wall for his career at Arsenal and in order to achieve regular first-team game time, he must leave the Emirates Stadium.

The 22-year-old England youth international came through the club’s Hale End academy to make his debut in 2014 and has accumulated 96 appearances under four different managers.

He played a full part in each of Arsenal’s six Premier League games after Mikel Arteta was appointed as head coach on December 20 but has featured in only four of the subsequent 12 top-flight fixtures, all from the substitutes’ bench and has spent about 70 minutes on the pitch in total.

Since the home draw against Sheffield United on January 18, Maitland-Niles has completed a whole match just once — in an FA Cup quarter-final win away to the same opposition on June 28.

The shortage of game time has led Maitland-Niles to seek new pastures.

Olabamerun Oluwatise

"The first sentence can't be written until the final sentence is written"

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