This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
The Reds won promotion from the Championship in 2021/22 and are now preparing for life in the Premier League.
Maitland-Niles is said to have been made a transfer priority by Forest and the Gunners are ready to let him go.
So, would that be a good signing for Forest? And do they need him?
Our FLW writers share their thoughts…
Quiz: Which club did Nottingham Forest sign these 24 players from in the 2000s?
With Djed Spence’s transfer to Tottenham Hotspur nearing completion, any Forest hopes of signing the 21-year-old permanently are all but gone.
The club face a tough task to replace him, however, Ainsley Maitland-Niles could be an interesting option.
The versatile player could replicate the role Spence played at the City Ground well, and brings a lot more top-level experience than other targets mentioned, such as Neco Williams.
For example, Williams has appeared in the Premier League just 13 times, whereas Maitland-Niles has racked up 87 top-flight appearances to date.
Both would be decent options, but I’d perhaps edge for Maitland-Niles, depending on the fee Arsenal were hoping to receive.
This would be a very good signing.
Firstly, Maitland-Niles is someone who has very good pedigree, having played for Arsenal and most recently Roma, among several other clubs. So, he would be able to bring a top-flight experience that is lacking at the City Ground with much of the squad.
More importantly, he would be able to do a job in various areas for the Reds. Whether it’s right wing-back, central midfield or even left wing-back, Maitland-Niles is comfortable and has the technical ability to play the game in the way that Steve Cooper wants.
Having versatile individuals like that is always important over the course of a long, tough season and I’ve no doubt that if the Arsenal man did arrive at Forest, he would establish himself as an important player, no matter where he lined up in the XI.
This does feel as though it could be a rather good signing for Forest if they manage to make it happen.
With Djed Spence seemingly set for a switch to Tottenham, the Championship promotion winners are going to have to find another outlet to make an impact on that right-hand side of the pitch.
Maitland-Niles is certainly someone with the ability to fill that role, and the top-flight experience he has, could make him a rather reliable figure to take on that position, especially given that at 24-years-old, he could do that for many years to come.
The profile of a signing such as this could also make it something of a marker for Forest to put down as they prepare for a return to the Premier League, so it does seem like this is one that could be well worth pursuing for Steve Cooper and co.