Maitland-Niles may regret refusing to play as a defender at Arsenal

How many youngsters fantasise about putting on n the red and white shirt?

How many would sacrifice it all without a blink of an eye it meant playing at the Emirates?

How many would do anything and everything to catch their dream and make it a reality?

Maitland Niles has had that opportunity 132 times, mostly at full back.

For whatever reason he’s determined he’s above that position and that he should be playing in midfield.

That’s despite no senior manager agreeing, barely any performance as evidence he can play in that role, and having excelled in defence for us.

Maitland Niles is set for the third loan spell of his career as he continues to try and prove he’s the central midfielder that only exists in his own mind.

It’s believed Roma will pay a 1 million fee, cover all wages although there is zero obligation or option to buy as Arsenal again prioritise slashing the wage bill in the Winter Window.

3 managers have viewed Niles as only good enough to be a makeshift full back. If defensive tactician Jose Mourinho doesn’t see your strengths as a DM, then the player might have to start listening.

It might be about the 24-year-old swallowing his pride. While there is nothing wrong with backing your own ability you equally have to listen to the professionals., he’s wasted years of his career when he could have established himself in the first team for Arsenal.

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Unai Emery played him at right back in the Europa League Final, Arteta trusted him on the left side in the FA Cup Final.

That was enough to get him England recognition again as a defender.

Surely if learning a new role gets you playing for the Gunners, you trust the judgement of those who see you in training?

Not having that outlook gives an indication of the man’s character.

When he asked for a loan last January to boost his hopes of being selected for the Euros his employers arranged a move to Southampton.

The player wanted West Brom purely because they would play him in the position he desired.

He essentially chose relegation on his CV at a time when Arsenal’s left and right back spots were up for grabs.

He very publicly made it clear in the summer he wanted his employers to sanction a loan move to Everton, again not giving the impression he was willing to do whatever it took to play for a club he had been at since the age of 6.

While Arteta had ‘clear the air talks’ which appear to be assurances that he would no longer be used at full back, the Spaniard doesn’t come across as someone who forgets long term.

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As a former captain, who preaches the values and ethos of the badge, he wouldn’t appreciate an academy graduate not willing to adapt if it meant playing for The Arsenal.

Thierry Henry, Lauren, Kolo Touré, etc, all were willing to learn new roles to play for Arsenal.

If it’s good enough for them it should be for Niles.

Loans are meant to be part of a player’s development. In Arsenal’s case too many players are loaned out not for their long-term futures,

but because of a failure to find a club willing to pay our asking price and/or match the players salary.

Maitland Niles has been deemed not good enough to be in our midfield every week, yet we didn’t accept an offer from Wolves over a year ago due to a fear he might reach his potential.

In the summer Maitland Niles will have 12 months left on his contract forcing Arsenal to sale on the cheap.

How he gets on in Serie A will determine what kind of move he gets, but he would have to do amazing in Italy to make Arteta look beyond his attitude.

An attitude where he didn’t want to listen.

Where he listened to nonsense hype and thought he was better than he was.

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Hype such as he’s better then Kante; my favourite comment on JustArsenal.

The embodiment of a young man who got well paid without having done anything.

He’s had 132 appearances for Arsenal, enough chances to prove he could be anything more than a full back.

Enough opportunities to break into one of the worst Arsenal midfields in decades.

If he doesn’t succeed in Rome, then he may regret not embracing the chance he had in North London.

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