Ainsley Maitland-Niles is relishing the opportunity to play under Jose Mourinho as the midfielder’s move to AS Roma edges closer.
Maitland-Niles has fallen down the pecking order under Mikel Arteta and is on the verge of joining Roma on loan for the remainder of the season. The England international was keen to leave the Gunners during the summer transfer window but Arsenal blocked his move to Everton.
The 24-year-old was left frustrated as he took it to social media to ask the club to let him leave to a club where he will feel wanted.
Arteta has revealed Ainsley told him he is looking forward to playing under Mourinho.
“Ainsley came to me and explained the reasons why he thought the best thing for him and his career was to move away,” said Arteta on Friday.
“He felt the opportunity to go to Rome and work with Jose was a good one. Being fair with the amount of minutes that he’s played he was entitled to that opportunity. We wish him the best.”
“We’re very short at the moment [in midfield], but this shouldn’t be the only reason for keeping a player.”
“Ainsley was very straight with me and I understood the situation. Obviously, we’re going to move and look for options as we’re very short there.”
On signing a new striker
“We have a really special situation in that position because obviously, you are talking about three players with different issues at the moment.”
“But we have to live with that and so far the players that are here are fully committed.”
See also: Mikel Arteta speaks out about new striker plans, rules out re-signing Wilshere