Embarrassment for Arsenal as Maitland-Niles asks to leave on Instagram

Arsenal have suffered further embarrassment after Ainsley Maitland-Niles pleaded to be allowed to leave in an extraordinary outburst on social media as he attempts to force through a move to Everton.

The England international, who could become the latest academy product to depart the Emirates before the transfer window closes on Tuesday night, made his feelings clear in a post on Instagram as Arsenal deliberated an offer from Rafa Benítez’s side to take him on loan for the rest of the season. “All I want to do is go where I’m wanted & where I’m going to play @Arsenal,” he wrote.

The 24-year-old made his first Premier League appearance of the season as a substitute during Saturday’s 5-0 defeat at Manchester City, as Mikel Arteta’s side slumped to a third successive loss that left them bottom of the Premier League.

Maitland-Niles, who won all of his five England caps last year while a regular for Arsenal at wing-back, spent the second half of last season on loan at West Brom and has two years left on his contract. He is capable of playing in a number of positions but has previously stated his preference is in midfield.

Yet the regular right-back, Héctor Bellerín, is being linked to his boyhood club, Barcelona, having made it clear that he wants to leave, and it remains to be seen whether Arsenal will sanction Maitland-Niles’ move to Goodison Park.

Eddie Nketiah could also depart for Crystal Palace as, negotiations continue over a fee for the 22-year-old striker. Arsenal originally wanted £20m, with Palace having indicated they are only willing to pay around £12m for a player whose contract expires next year.

Arsenal have already sold Joe Willock to Newcastle for £22m and Reiss Nelson could be allowed to join Feyenoord on loan as part of the exodus of former youth-team players to free up funds, the club having spent about £130m on Ben White, Martin Ødegaard, Aaron Ramsdale and Albert Sambi Lokonga this summer.

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