Ainsley Maitland-Niles was told that he must stay with Arsenal.
He was strongly linked with a deadline day witch to Everton, with the Merseyside club pressing for a loan move to Merseyside with an option to buy. And, to make his feelings clear, he posted a strongly worded message on social media on Monday reiterating his desire to leave so that he could play regular football again.
But, in an unexpected twist, Mikel Arteta convened an emergency meeting with the player and his representatives and told him that he is remaining at the club.
What makes things doubly confusing for Arsenal fans is that Maitland-Niles has now rowed back on his determination only to be deployed in midfield, and has made it clear thar hs will now consider playing at right-back, which is an area of the pitch where Arsenal urgently need an upgrade.
It is unclear though whether Arteta will consider picking him there. especially given the subsequent signing of Japanese international Takehiro Tomiyaso from Bologna.
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.