Mikel Arteta blocked Ainsley Maitland-Nile’s move to Barcelona.
The utility player was linked with a move away from the Emirates throughout the summer, and, at one point, seemed like he might join Wolves after the Midlands club made a bid for him.
That was rejected, but that did not stop other clubs enquiring about the 23-year old academy graduate, among them Barcelona.
They were in the market for a right-back, and, in the end, signed Sergino Dest from Ajax instead. That though was only being told by Arsenal that Maitland-Niles was not for sale.
Mikel Arteta has decided that the England player – he gained his first cap as a substitute in England’s Nations League draw with Denmark last month – is an integral part of his plans going forward.
The Spaniard values him for his ability to operate in a number of positions including full-back wing back and midfield. The player himself has previously said he would like to play on the wing!
Andy is an exiled English football fan living in Cyprus. He loves all sports but football is his abiding passion, and he still has dreams every now and then about scoring the winning goal in a Wembley Cup Final, even though his playing days are long gone. He follows most major leagues, across Europe at least, and has a favoured team in each. When he’s not watching, listening, reading or downloading podcasts about football, he spend his time worrying about his beloved Arsenal.