Arsenal midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles admits a chat with Tammy Abraham helped convince him about a loan move to Roma.
Maitland-Niles is the third England international in the Giallorossi squad after former Chelsea striker Abraham and ex-Manchester United defender Chris Smalling.
“I spoke to Tammy, Tammy’s a great guy. I don’t know Chris like that, but I am sure I will get to know him better now that I am here. Tammy told me what a great club it is and he wanted me to come so much, so we spoke back and forth about it,” he said.
“I decided to come here for myself, for my career and for my future – and to help the team too. So I am here now and I am ready to get to work.”
Maitland-Niles says a call from Roma coach Jose Mourinho was also decisive.
“It’s very big. He’s one of the best managers in the world – if not the best. He’s won numerous titles and he’s just a great person. He speaks the truth, he’s a happy person and he wants to win. And that’s what football is about: winning. So to be working under a manager like that; you can’t really ask for any more than that as a player.
“He came to dinner last night. We were speaking about the plans going forward and what he wants from me and what he expects. It was a good conversation.”
Maitland-Niles has been catching up on Serie A games recently and is ready to face Juventus tomorrow evening.
“There have been a lot of fast tempo games and there are a lot of aggressive teams in the league. I think I am suited for this type of football, you know. Coming from the Premier League, I don’t think Serie A is so different. I just want to be out there on the pitch, take it all in, and play well.”
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