Kevin Campbell backs Mikel Arteta to go on ‘charm offensive’ to keep Ainsley Maitland-Niles at Arsenal

Maitland-Niles' playing time in the Premier League has been limited
Maitland-Niles’ playing time in the Premier League has been limited (Picture: Getty Images)

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta will launch a ‘charm offensive’ to keep Ainsley Maitland-Niles at the club, believes Kevin Campbell.

Wolves had a £15million bid for the 23-year-old rebuffed in the summer, with Arteta opting to keep hold of the versatile defender.

However, Maitland-Niles’ role this season has been largely limited to appearances in the Europa League.

Arteta's side have struggled this season
Arteta’s side have struggled this season (Picture: Getty Images)

The England international’s preference is to play in midfield, but he has the likes of Granit Xhaka, Dani Ceballos, Mohamed Elneny and summer signing Thomas Partey all ahead of him in the pecking order.

Maitland-Niles’ current deal at the Emirates isn’t due to expire until 2023, but former Gunners striker Campbell has claimed Arteta wants to nail down his future for the long-term.

‘I hear Mikel Arteta is trying to convince him to stay and sign a new contract because he is now an England international,’ Campbell told Football Insider.

‘Which clubs let England internationals go? You do not do that.

‘He wants to play, of course he wants to but we know football is a squad game. He wants to play in central midfield and they have just bought Partey to play there.

‘Maitland-Niles is a good player but he is no Partey, that is for sure.

‘He has a great engine on him, tough and can take a penalty because he is calm as a cucumber.

‘He has loads of pluses going for him. He can fit in multiple positions and every team needs a utility man, and when your utility man is an international you need to keep him even more so.

‘I can see Mikel Arteta going on the charm offensive to try and keep him at the football club.’

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