Arsenal will be making a big mistake if they sell Ainsley Maitland-Niles this summer to Southampton or one of his other suitors.
That is according to former Gunners striker Kevin Campbell, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about the possibility of the 23-year-old West Brom loanee leaving the club permanently.
Maitland-Niles moved to The Hawthorns on loan in January to realise his ambition of playing in central midfield.
He has made eight starts for Sam Allardyce’s side, including Saturday’s shock 5-2 win over fourth-placed Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
The Telegraph claim the England international plans to leave the Emirates this summer with Wolves, Leicester City and Southampton expected to be interested.
When asked by Football Insider for his assessment of Maitland-Niles’ future, Campbell said: “It is a really interesting one.
“He desperately wants to play in midfield but he has not been given the chance to do that at Arsenal. He is playing their week in, week out at West Brom and I am sure he will come back a better player.
“In his head, maybe this spell will cement in his head that he can do it, he can be a Premier League midfielder.
“Has he got a future at Arsenal? We will see this summer. Things might have change at the club, who knows what is going to happen at Arsenal over the summer because we need to upgrade in several positions.
“West Brom have been struggling but the fact of the matter is, he is playing week in, week out in his favoured position.
“When he comes back to Arsenal and plays alongside better players, I think he will improve further. He just needs an opportunity to play with the better players in midfield, that is when I think he will shine.”