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Maitland-Niles explains decision to swap Arsenal for West Brom

Ainsley Maitland-Niles, West Brom
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The versatile midfielder left Arsenal in January to sign up for Premier League strugglers West Brom on loan.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles joined West Brom on loan to avoid ‘rotting away’ on the Arsenal bench for the rest of the season.

Maitland-Niles, who can play in several roles across midfield and defense, started only five times in the Premier League with Arsenal before he left for West Brom in January. He has since started each of the Baggies’ last five league games.

The obvious downside to life at the Hawthorns compared to the Emirates is that the 23-year-old is in a relegation battle. He is, on the other hand, playing in his preferred midfield role under Sam Allardyce.

“It’s another loan deal, you are going to end up going back to the club eventually,” Maitland-Niles told talkSPORT.

“It was just more of a chance for me to show what I’m capable of other than sitting on the bench for the rest of the season and rotting away.

“The main reason was being able to play as there’s nothing better than playing. I felt it would be great to experience the work of people trying to save their careers and stay in the Premier League.

“I think it was the perfect fit for me to be here and show them the qualities I can produce.”

West Brom, who sit in 19th-place in the Premier League, will need Maitland-Niles at his best for Sunday’s match against Newcastle United.