Arsenal man Maitland-Niles told he hasn’t ‘made a difference’ at Roma

Lewis Oldham
Arsenal player Maitland-Niles

Arsenal and England player Ainsley Maitland-Niles has been told that he has not “made a difference” for Roma since his move to Italy.

The 24-year-old came through the ranks at Arsenal. He has played over 130 times for his boyhood club since making his senior debut in 2014/05.

With chances hard to come by, he was given permission to join West Brom on loan last season. He was linked with a permanent move away from Arsenal ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.

An XI of PL regulars who began the season out in the cold

Maitland-Niles ended up staying with Arsenal but he joined Roma on loan during the winter transfer window.

The versatile Englishman has played in defence and midfield as he has played seven times for Jose Mourinho’s side.

Loris Boni – who played 80 times for Roma in the 1970’s – has been asked about Maitland-Niles and Sergio Oliveira.

As quoted by Sport Witness, he has suggested that the Arsenal player has not made much of an impact for the Italians:

“They haven’t impacted a lot. Maybe they haven’t settled in yet. They have a hard time grasping Italian football. English and Portuguese football is quite different.

“If you join a team that is not in condition, it’s not easy to fit in. They are players who have come to complete the staff. They aren’t ones who make the difference.”

Former goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel thinks only Arsenal are capable of rivalling Man Utd for fourth place after the weekend’s results.

Victory over Leeds on Sunday moved Man Utd, who occupy the final Champions League spot, four points clear of fifth-placed West Ham and sixth-placed Arsenal, while Wolves are a further two points back.

Tottenham sit in eighth – six points behind the Red Devils – but, like Arsenal, they have three games in hand on Man Utd with Wolves also having two games to spare on Ralf Rangnick’s men.

However, Schmeichel reckons the Gunners are the only team who can realistically beat Man Utd to that all-important fourth spot.

When asked who he was backing to win the race, Schmeichel told BBC Radio Five Live: “I think Arsenal have shown some great form.

“But actually, on current form in the last five games, Man United is a little bit better than Arsenal. It’s hard to see but they are.

“I think having the points on the board rather than games in hand [is more important].”