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Arsenal star nearing January move to Roma

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The Arsenal midfielder might join the Giallorossi on a loan deal this winter.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles has fallen down the pecking order at Arsenal this season. The 24-year-old, who was a regular starter under Unai Emery, has featured in only 11 games this season. The England international might leave the Gunners’ crowded midfield to get regular game time in Serie A.

According to GOAL, Roma are closing in on signing the Arsenal star on a loan deal. Jose Mourinho, who has often complained about his squad’s lack of depth, hopes to have the versatile midfielder on board.

Maitland-Niles made his senior debut back in December 2014. The midfielder gained his best form during the 2017-18 campaign when he made 28 appearances. He went on to become a starter under Emery but has struggled again for game time since Arteta’s appointment.

The potential departure of Maitland-Niles is unlikely to hurt Arsenal as they have a host of in-form midfielders. The Gunners use Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey as their midfield pivot, while Martin Odegaard plays if front of them. They also have Emile Smith Rowe and Mohamed Elneny, who both have delivered convincing performances lately.

In an interview last month, Arteta hailed Maitland-Niles for his commitment.

The Arsenal manager said: “I think he’s a different player in terms of his urgency commitment, his clarity in play and his commitment,

“When I see him in training sessions, when I see how he prepares, asking the questions he’s asking, the level of attention to everything you talk through, his response is immediate.

“He’s a really clever, intelligent boy and I think [he] has needed to transmit that and how much he cares with his body language and his determination and I think he’s come a long way.”

Following their 5-0 win over Norwich, Arsenal will host Wolves in a league game on Tuesday.