Arsene Wenger prediction proved wrong as Arsenal defender Ainsley Maitland-Niles confirms summer exit
| Last updated
Arsenal have decided not to trigger a contract extension for one of their players who's now set to leave this summer.
Despite the pressure heating up, Arsenal are already planning for the summer with one departure from the club already confirmed.
The 25-year-old joined Arsenal at the age of six and has spent this season on loan at relegation-threatened Southampton.
He will now have the pick of clubs as a free agent and is ready for a fresh start.
"It’s been a great journey but it has come to an end now (at Arsenal). It’s time for a fresh start and to find a new home," he said.
“Southampton is a great club to be at and progress and get some minutes under my belt. Of course, if they were to make an offer, I’ll be more than happy to stay.”
Wenger saw him as the future of Arsenal
Arsenal legend Arsene Wenger gave Maitland-Niles his debut back in 2014 and he became a regular first-team player during the French manager's last season at the club.
Back then Wenger hailed him as the future of the Gunners.
Speaking to Arsenal.com in 2017, the Frenchman said: "I believe he is the future. He can play left back, right back, central midfield. Of the three positions, maybe the least natural for him is left back, but he adapts very quickly and is a good defender.
"He has that sense of one against one, he is very strong, he is very quick, he has very quick recovery runs when he comes back. He has some aspects to learn: experience and he has to work on his heading. But overall, what he has done is positive."
It appears that Wenger's prediction has now been proved wrong with Arteta choosing to stick with the players that have served him so well this season.