EPL

Arsenal duo Maitland-Niles and Willock handed loan switches

By Sports Desk February 01, 2021

England international Ainsley Maitland-Niles has joined West Brom on loan from Arsenal until the end of the season, with Joe Willock making a similar switch to Newcastle United.

Maitland-Niles was part of the Gunners side that lifted the FA Cup and Community Shield last year, with his performances at wing-back earning a call-up to Gareth Southgate's England squad.

The 23-year-old Maitland-Niles made five appearances for the Three Lions across this season's three international breaks to date, although he has only managed the same number of Premier League starts in 2020-21.

Maitland-Niles, who has played 121 times for Arsenal and became the second youngest player in the club's history after Jack Wilshere when he turned out against Galatasaray in the Champions League aged 17 years and 102 days, is now poised for a relegation fight under Sam Allardyce at second-bottom West Brom.

"Ainsley is a very talented player and we are proud of his hard work and development with us," said Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, who also sanctioned the departure of Shkodran Mustafi to Schalke on a permanent deal amid a flurry of late deadline day activity at Emirates Stadium.

"This decision to go on loan to West Bromwich Albion for the rest of this season is to support Ainsley and his growth further.

"He will be working at a very good club in the Premier League and we all wish him the best of luck during his time at the Hawthorns."

Willock, whose 17 outings in all competitions this season are just four fewer than Maitland-Niles, will now also be concerned with matters at the other end of the Premier League table.

The 21-year-old midfielder bolsters a Newcastle squad who occupy 15th position, eighth points clear of the drop zone after a morale-boosting 2-0 win at Everton.

"Joe is a young player with great ability who is progressing very well and we are happy with his continued development," Arteta said of the England Under-21 international.

"At this moment in his career, Joe needs to be playing regularly. At Newcastle United, he is going to a very good club with a top quality manager and staff."

Related items

  • Women's Champions League final a '50-50' affair, says Lyon boss Bompastor Women's Champions League final a '50-50' affair, says Lyon boss Bompastor

    Lyon coach Sonia Bompastor says Saturday's Women's Champions League final against Barcelona will be a "50-50" affair, despite the Blaugrana's favourites tag.

    The French outfit are seeking an eighth title against Jonatan Giraldez's side, who have suffered just one loss this term across all competitions.

    Bompastor is seeking to become the first woman to win the Champions League as both a player and a manager after 2011 and 2012 triumphs with Lyon.

    The chance for looming history means she is determined her side will not be discounted in Turin.

    "Let's not forget Lyon have a lot of experience," she said at Friday's pre-match news conference. "This allows us to know how to approach it, but a final is 50-50. A magician never reveals their tricks.

    "But our team is a talented and we have the skill set necessary to give them a run for their money, which is what we're going to do.

    "This is a 10th final for Lyon and the chance to win an eighth title. That's more important than anything for me as an individual."

    Barcelona forward Asisat Oshoala, meanwhile, insists her side will not underestimate their opponents and their impressive pedigree too, even on the cusp of a famous clean sweep.

    "Lyon are a well respected team in Europe – they won the Champions League five years in a row and they are obviously the team to beat here," she said.

    "They're much stronger than they were three years ago. It would be good to win the Champions League again, not because it is Lyon we're playing against but because it's going to be an amazing experience for us to have it back-to-back.

    "We're getting closer to our goal, we're getting closer to where we want to be, so on the day I think it's going to be amazing.

    "It will be nice to play in front of a full stadium again with an amazing atmosphere, beautiful soccer from beautiful and great teams in Europe."

  • Bayern Munich youngster Tillman earns first USA call-up after switching allegiance from Germany Bayern Munich youngster Tillman earns first USA call-up after switching allegiance from Germany

    Bayern Munich youngster Malik Tillman has been called up by the United States for the first time.

    The 19-year-old attacking midfielder has featured seven times for Bayern in all competitions this season, albeit just one of those appearances coming from the start of a match.

    Tillman had previously represented Germany at various age levels and earned his fourth cap for the Under-21 side in March.

    However, he revealed this week he had switched allegiance from Germany to the USA, the country of his father's birth, and was named in their latest squad on Friday.

    There are 10 MLS-based players in Gregg Berhalter's 27-man squad, though there is no place for Chicago Fire goalkeeper Gaga Slonina after he made a U-turn on his Poland call-up.

    The 18-year-old, who has yet to appear for either country, has subsequently declared for the USA and explained his decision in a social media post.

    "My heart is American," he wrote on Instagram. "This country has given me and my family all the opportunities I could ask for. 

    "It's pushed me and supported me through good and bad. I understand the privilege of wearing the badge, and the only time I'll put my head down is to kiss it. 

    "America is home and that's who I'm going to represent."

    USA are without a number of key players for their June fixtures, with Sergino Dest, Chris Richards and Giovanni Reyna among those to miss out through injury.

    Berhalter's side face Morocco and Uruguay in friendlies next month before beginning their CONCACAF Nations League defence with games against Grenada and El Salvador.

    The fixtures will also act as preparation for the 2022 World Cup, where they are in a group alongside England, Iran and one of Wales, Scotland or Ukraine.

  • Rumour Has It: Calvert-Lewin eyes move up Premier League Rumour Has It: Calvert-Lewin eyes move up Premier League

    Dominic Calvert-Lewin is reportedly finished at Everton – and he may have a chance to put himself in the shop window when his side play Arsenal in the last game of the Premier League season.

    After 13 goals in Everton's 2019-20 Premier League campaign, and 16 in the 2020-21 season, the 25-year-old struggled with injuries this time around, missing three months with a fractured toe and scoring five goals in 16 league appearances.

    Coming through Sheffield United's youth academy before moving to Everton in 2016, it appears unlikely Calvert-Lewin's next move will take him out of the country, with two Premier League clubs said to be leading the race.

     

    TOP STORY – CALVERT-LEWIN SET FOR ARSENAL AUDITION

    According to Football Insider, Calvert-Lewin expects Sunday's fixture to be his last appearance for the Toffees, and Arsenal are named as one of the two Premier League sides interested in making a move for the English striker.

    Newcastle United are the other interested party, although Calvert-Lewin is said to have communicated to friends that his preferred landing spot would be Arsenal.

    With the Arsenal futures of Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah up in the air, the Gunners have reportedly set aside £45million to be used on a young striker in the upcoming transfer window.

     

    ROUND-UP

    – Marca reports that Real Madrid have interest in Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan if he leaves in the next transfer window, although Pep Guardiola wants to keep the German international at the club.

    Newcastle are ruling out a move for Manchester United's Jesse Lingard, unless he lowers his wage requests from £150,000 per week, according to ESPN.

    – Sport reports that Barcelona have made centre-back Samuel Umtiti available to Arsenal, with a loan move more likely.

    – Eurosport claims Paul Pogba will choose between Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus for his next club.

    – According to football.london, 20-year-old Nottingham Forest winger Brennan Johnson has plenty of Premier League admirers, with Tottenham named as an interested party.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.