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Arsene Wenger prediction proved wrong as Arsenal defender Ainsley Maitland-Niles confirms summer exit

Will Evans

| Last updated 

Arsene Wenger prediction proved wrong as Arsenal defender Ainsley Maitland-Niles confirms summer exit

Arsenal have decided not to trigger a contract extension for one of their players who's now set to leave this summer.

The Gunners remain five points clear at the top of the Premier League table and face a huge game against title rivals Manchester City on Wednesday.

Pep Guardiola's City have two games in hand over Arsenal so the midweek game at the Etihad Stadium is a must-win for Mikel Arteta if his side wants to remain in control.

Despite the pressure heating up, Arsenal are already planning for the summer with one departure from the club already confirmed.


Ainsley Maitland-Niles will leave when his contract expires in June with the decision to part ways mutually agreed weeks ago, according to The Athletic's David Ornstein.

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 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.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Ainsley Maitland Niles, Mikel Arteta, Arsenal, Premier League, Southampton, Transfers, Arsene Wenger

Will Evans
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