Arsenal’s Ainsley Maitland-Niles could flourish at left-back for Leeds United next season.
That’s according to former Leeds defender Danny Mills, who seemingly believes the clubs rumoured interest in the 23-year-old could prove rather useful.
Having dropped down the pecking order at Arsenal, Maitland-Niles was loaned out to West Brom back in the January transfer window.
Since then, the versatile England international has impressed at The Hawthorns, despite the Baggies’ seemingly imminent relegation from the Premier League.
Recent reports from The Mirror have claimed that Leeds, along with Crystal Palace, are keen on a move for Maitland-Niles come the summer transfer window.
Now it seems as though Mills believes that a move for the Arsenal academy graduate, could help Leeds to strengthen the left-hand side of their defence.
Giving his verdict on a potential move to Elland Road for Maitland-Niles, the ex England international told Football Insider: “I’m assuming he would come in at left-back. That would be the slot they’re looking to fill on a permanent regular basis.
“He’s young, he’s high-energy, he’s athletic so he fits into the mould of Bielsa’s teams and the way they play.
“He took a huge leap to go out to West Brom and no doubt he’s learned a lot from that and the pressure there.
“But I think if he can go to a settled side with regular game time then he’ll flourish under that and improve dramatically.”
This is an interesting one to consider from a Leeds perspective.
Left-back is an area it seems the club will have to strengthen in come the summer, with Ezgjan Alioksi’s contract set to expire.
Maitland-Niles does have the versatility required to take over that left-back role, and his performances have suggested he could be a reliable option for them in that position.
However, Maitland-Niles has stated recently that his preference is to play in midfield, meaning I’m not sure how open he would be to this move, if it forced him to play at left-back.