Arsenal: Arteta says they’re still in top four contention
Arsenal made two deadline day transfers with midfielder Joe Willock joining Newcastle for the rest of the season on loan, while Ainsley Maitland-Niles headed to West Brom will spend the rest of the 2020/21 campaign at West Brom. However, it appears that Mikel Arteta has a plan for both players.
Arsenal’s clauses involved in the deals to loan out Joe Willock and Ainsley Maitland-Niles strongly hint at Mikel Arteta’s plans for the pair next year.
Young midfielder Willock joined Newcastle for the rest of the season on deadline day, while Maitland-Niles headed to West Brom.
Both players have had spells in the first team during the current campaign, but failed to nail down a regular starting spot.
It doesn’t look like either player will be heading out for much longer than a few months though, based on the finer details of their loan agreements.
In the deals for both sign Willock and Maitland-Niles, there is no option for the player to sign permanently for their new club.
And that is most likely because Gunners boss Arteta is planning on using them more next season, hence giving them some regular first team experience on loan at a Premier League rival.
This is reflected in Arteta’s comments on both deals.
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He told the club’s website of Willock: “Joe is a young player with great ability who is progressing very well and we are happy with his continued development.
“At this moment in his career, Joe needs to be playing regularly. At Newcastle United, he is going to a very good club with a top quality manager and staff.
“We all wish Joe the very best at Newcastle until the end of the season.”
Meanwhile, he added in the case of Maitland-Niles: “Ainsley is a very talented player and we are proud of his hard work and development with us.
“This decision to go on loan to West Bromwich Albion for the rest of this season is to support Ainsley and his growth further.
“He will be working at a very good club in the Premier League and we all wish him the best of luck during his time at the Hawthorns.”
Maitland-Niles is also understood to be targeting a place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for this summer’s Euros.
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