Barcelona considered Maitland-Niles before landing Dest/ Arteta ‘key’ to Englishman staying at Arsenal


Barcelona looked at Maitland-Niles

FC Barcelona did not have the most productive end to the transfer window, with the club reportedly missing out on deals for both Memphis Depay and Eric Garcia.

However, the club did manage to solve one of their main issues in the latter stages of the window.

With Nelson Semedo now on Wolves’ books, Barca were in real danger of having to face the first half of the 2020/21 season without a natural right-back.

The Spanish powerhouse had been linked with a number of right-backs to help fill this void, including Norwich’s Max Aarons.

However, it did look to be Sergino Dest who was of the most interest to the Blaugrana.

But, as well as Barcelona, Champions League holders Bayern Munich were also heavily linked with the full-back.

And it was Bayern’s interest, according to Fabrizio Romano, which made the Spaniard’s begin to explore other options, one of which was apparently Arsenal’s Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

Speaking on the latest edition of his Here We Go podcast, Romano stated:

Barcelona obviously were considering other opportunities and between the other opportunities, they also had the name of Maitland- Niles in the list.

Then they signed Sergino Dest, so they had a good chance to sign him and congrats to Barca because he’s a great player.

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 26: Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal looks on prior to the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Arsenal FC at Vitality Stadium on December 26, 2019 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom. (Photo by Harriet Lander/Copa/Getty Images )

Arteta key to Maitland-Niles staying

Barca were not the first club to have been linked with Maitland-Niles over this past window.

Wolves were heavily linked with AMN back in August/September.

And with both clubs no doubt attractive propositions, Barca for their stature as a club and Wolves largely for game time, Arsenal fans may be quite surprised they actually maintained the Englishman’s services.

Well, Romano would also provide some insight into how Arsenal have been able to keep hold of Maitland-Niles despite interest from elsewhere, stating on his podcast that Mikel Arteta has been key to the Gunners keeping the versatile defender:

But Maitland Niels will stay obviously with Arsenal and I have to say that I see him like an important player for the future, not just for Arsenal, but also for England. So congrats to Arsenal because it’s not easy to say to Barcelona no, no the players stays here. So also, congrats to Mikel Arteta because he’s been key to keep the player.

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# Team MP D P
1 Everton FC 4 7 12
2 Aston Villa FC 3 9 9
3 Leicester City FC 4 5 9
4 Arsenal FC 4 3 9
5 Liverpool FC 4 0 9
6 Tottenham Hotspur FC 4 7 7
7 Chelsea FC 4 4 7
8 Leeds United 4 1 7
9 Newcastle United FC 4 1 7
10 West Ham United FC 4 4 6
11 Southampton FC 4 -1 6
12 Crystal Palace FC 4 -2 6
13 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 4 -3 6
14 Manchester City FC 3 -1 4
15 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 4 -2 3
16 Manchester United FC 3 -6 3
17 West Bromwich Albion 4 -8 1
18 Burnley FC 3 -5 0
19 Sheffield United FC 4 -5 0
20 Fulham FC 4 -8 0
Player Team Goals
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 6
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 6
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 5
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 5
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 4
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion FC 4
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 3
Grealish, Jack Aston Villa FC 3
Rodriguez, James Everton FC 3
Jorginho Chelsea FC 3
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 3
Lacazette, Alexandre Arsenal FC 3
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace FC 3
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 3
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 3
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 3
Bowen, Jarrod West Ham United FC 3
Costa, Helder Leeds United 2
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 2
Klich, Mateusz Leeds United 2