Everton could kill two birds with one stone by signing £6.8m Arsenal reject

Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)
Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images) /

Everton have multiple areas to strengthen this summer and with a very limited budget in the transfer window, the Toffees need to get creative and look for shrewd signings. The Toffees have been linked with Arsenal’s Ainsley Maitland-Niles who is set to become a free agent this summer.

Everton need to reinforce the midfield as Tom Davies will leave as a free agent and Amadou Onana could also leave this summer as Chelsea remain interested in the Belgian midfielder. The Toffees need reliable depth in the midfield and have been considering cheap yet viable options in the transfer market.

Seamus Coleman signed a contract extension but EFC do have injury prone full backs in Nathan Patterson and Coleman. The Merseysiders must also add depth to the full back position. Last season, Sean Dyche had to play James Garner in the right wing back role on the final matchday. Ben Godfrey had to also operate as a left back in a few games last season when Vitaliy Mykolenko was unavailable.

Everton can solve two problems with the signing of Ainsley Maitland-Niles

The Toffees could solve their squad depth problems with Maitland-Niles. Everton have been linked with Maitland-Niles but will face competition from West Ham United and Turkish clubs. The Arsenal utility man will be leaving the Emirates Stadium as a free agent as his deal expires with the Gunners. Arsenal will not be offering him a new deal, which gives Everton a fantastic opportunity to sign him for free and make it a very low risk transfer.

Maitland-Niles spent the last season on loan at Southampton, playing 22 games in the Premier League, playing as right back, left back, defensive midfielder and central midfielder. In Maitland-Niles, Everton will be getting a highly versatile player capable of covering a number of positions.

The Englishman can operate smoothly in the midfield and act as a cover for the midfield trio of Abdoulaye Doucoure, Idrissa Gueye and Onana. In the right back position, if Coleman and Patterson remain unavailable, Maitland-Niles can slot into the right back role and carry out the duties. He also played as a left back in a few games for the Saints and although he didn’t do anything spectacular, he can be used as a left back in the worst case scenario.

Signing him on a free transfer will be the cherry on the cake as Everton will still have adequate funds to strengthen the other areas of the pitch.

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Is Ainsley Maitland-Niles a viable option for EFC?