Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Out)

Discussion in 'Transfer Rumours' started by OnlyOne, May 23, 2020.

  1. BenTal

    BenTal Well-Known Member

    Are you serious? :lol: The only players with decent crosses are Tierney and (more or less) Pepe. The rest of the team including Bellerin, AMN, and Kola are terrible. Just look at Bayern Munich team for a definition of good crosses.
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  2. lomekian

    lomekian Well-Known Member

    Thank you for the lecture.
    1) I wasn't the one making the Milner comparison, I just responded to it.
    2) I don't need telling what Ainsley did at youth level. I saw highlights of every game he played, and all aired youth cup games, and about half of his games on loan at Ipswich. Your assessment clearly betrays that your knowledge is not as developed as you imply. See if you can find online videos for him at u18 level. Head and shoulders above his peers, particularly technically. 2 footed, brilliant on the dribble, precision through balls and occasionally banging them in from miles out with curling shots. He went on loan to Ipswich at 17 because they already thought he was too good for u23s.
    3) I used to be in relatively regular online conversation with the guy who scouted him for Arsenal, so have known a fair bit about him since he was about 14/15.
    4) He's always been a bit more of a street footballer, and due to his talent level in younger age groups this was indulged, which has led him to struggle a bit in terms of adjusting to controlled, structured tight level football.
    5) You seem to be under the impression that he can't beat a man, and is worse on the dribble than AWB. He played 2/3 of a season (until his mum intervened) as 1st choice right winger in the Championship at 17. He was periodically walking through teams at 18 level. There have been numerous games where he's beat 2-3 players for Arsenal but the end product isn't there. Hes got as many dribbling tricks as anyone in our squad bar Pepe, but his judgement about when to apply which is a little lacking. He's actually got more tricks than Saka. Saka's strength is elite decision making for his age and consistency with his final ball that is far greater than most players of his age. Saka actually has a very simple game, and doesn't do anything too complex, but is very very good at doing what he does and with great repeatability. AMN has a lot more diversity to his skillset but very little of the on the ball consistency.
    6) I agree that parts of his game are underdeveloped. But its not his technique. Already this season we have seen lazily ping inch perfect 50 yard crossfield balls, him beating opponents in tight areas, one touch passes on his wrong foot. Sure he's no Santi Cazorla or Özil, but in terms of sheer technical capacity he outweighs much of the squad. His decision making in the final third is mediocre, and he is still prone to lax passes and careless play.

    Maybe Ainsley will never find that composure and consistency that makes Saka so exciting. If he does get even close to that, the rest of his skillset in place would make him incredibly useful. Of course, we can't wait indefinitely, but to make a slightly dubious comparison, Thomas Partey at the same age was doing a lot less for Atletico than AMN is for us. And the fact is, even if he never really kicks on AMN is already a useful squad guy and counts towards our HG quota which is only likely to be more important in the coming years. Of course, for the right price he can go, but £20m is not remotely the right price.
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  3. Rex Banter

    Rex Banter Got Swerved By Gallas Trusted

    Another England squad. Going nowhere.
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  4. American_Gooner

    American_Gooner Not actually American. Unless Di Marzio says so. Moderator

    You wanted to sign Tagliafico who would cost £25m to back up Tierney?
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  5. HairSprayGooners

    HairSprayGooners Al Jazeera Correspondent

    I wanted to sell Kola/AMN for around £40M to buy a backup left back to Tierney. Tagliafico was just a suggestion.
  6. Gunner boy dd

    Gunner boy dd Coronavirus Truther

    Either way, you’re still spending £25m for a back up LB.
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  7. AbouCuéllar

    AbouCuéllar Well-Known Member

    Sincere apologies if it sounded like a lecture, not my intent, brevity is not my strong-point!

    2) I remember him at U18 level, but this is a fact for almost all future pro players at U18 level (head and shoulders over peers). We have to compare him to other pros. Precision through balls is what we saw on the highlights occasionally but the reality is this isn't an aspect of his game, nor at U23 level nor at pro level nor for Ipswich. When he settled in at U23 level as a midfield he was the water-carrier for Zelalem and Crowley. Good range of passing or creativity in passing just aren't descriptions of his game at any high-ish level. Just as you invite me to go back and watch U18 matches I'd say go back and watch a U23 match where he played in midfield, the one I saw in Majadahonda against Atléti in the UEFA Youth League is a good example. (As an aside, remember how good Crowley and Zelalem were at U18? In that very game even, I remember the Atlético fans all coming away very impressed by Crowley, they all said to me, 'man, you're 10 is really good'. Just to give a bit of perspective--those are players that showed really good technique and passing at U18 level, and it wasn't good enough...I wouldn't put AMN's technique and passing on their level, his strengths are his athleticism and the fact he's a very good defender)

    5) I didn't say he is a bad dribbler but if we limit ourselves to what the player has actually shown, AWB actually has some of the best dribbling stats for any RB, so we have to be realistic, AMN at our level hasn't shown the same efficacy nor close to it. Saka has much superior close control to Ainsley--which is after all one of the most important characteristics of a player's dribble--Ainsley's dribbles tend to rely on his explosion. All pro footballers have tricks and talent--even semi-pro footballers I can say! :lol:--but it's kinda irrelevant if they're not capable of producing and applying it in game situations, and that's what we have to talk about when we are evaluating a player, really. Anyways I would disagree that he has as many 'dribbling tricks'--not that I think this is a great way to evaluate a player's dribbling (Hazard doesn't have too many dribbling tricks, or Messi for that matter, but they are elite dribblers of course)--as anyone bar Pepe, I think anyway you slice it Nelson and later Willian (Willian, like many experienced players, has simplified his game with the years but he was doing dribbles and 'tricks' at the pro level at 23 that we've never seen anything close to from AMN) are better dribblers, probably Bellerín too (again, another player who has simplified his game and has a different type of dribbling, but if we're being objective...), probably Lacazette (who started as a winger, and given his level of dribbling at a young age likely showed abilities on the ball in real games AMN hasn't).

    6) Inch perfect 60 yard passes are absolutely the exception with AMN rather than the rule. In reality what we see is a player with a very limited passing range, and quite inaccurate and error-prone at that. Again, we can't really judge technique by the occasional 60 yd pass, everyone can do that, and what we see from AMN on the pitch is a quite limited passer, an occasional 60 yard pass coming off does not = technique.

    Thomas is a rather dubious comparison, he showed quality on the ball in midfield both at pro level and for Atléti's filial that AMN didn't. Technique-wise they're pretty similar but Thomas was far, far more advanced as a midfielder at his age than AMN is (who, like I say, is so under-developed as a midfielder--even under-developed on the ball for right-back standards--that I think it is just plainly realistic to talk about him as a midfielder at all).

    Finally, for a back-up RB/LB without realistic potential to be a top player, £20m in this economic climate (if we look at the transfer fees at the moment we really have to remember that £20m post-covid is probably like £40-50m pre-covid, it's a significant transfer fee in this market) is a fine price (taking advantage of his Community Shield performance and England call-up). I am dubious we will get that price again.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2020
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  8. jvw

    jvw Active Member

    £20m would not be a good price for a relatively big club like ourselves selling one of our promising young English players to a rival, even in the current climate. I'm dubious that we would get such a low return at any time in the future, even if we tried.
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  9. yorch44

    yorch44 Well-Known Member

    Lol tagliafico is not squad player, and he wouldn't be happy being one. That was a poor suggestion. You want a kid in the level of Saka pushing for the place while developing or you want a mature low profile player who is happy being squad but capable of doing the job. Like Milner
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  10. AbouCuéllar

    AbouCuéllar Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I tend to disagree, first of all given our urgent needs (which, if we solved them this window, we shouldn't have such urgent needs at all in coming windows) it makes sense to take the funds and put it to them while we can, second of all there are plenty of RBs and LBs in England who could easily surpass AMN in the coming years...Lamptey is one who has already done it, same with Max Aarons, Tottenham and Chelsea have interesting RB prospects in Lusala and Livramento, our own Daley-Campbell at Leicester I still rate as a prospect though who knows what happens here...there's no guarantee AMN maintains his status as an upper-half English fullback prospect over the next 1-2 years, and the smart money might even be against it.

    When we turned down whatever it was for Chambers from Palace we might've thought the same, and look now. Football moves fast and there is no shortage of fullback talent in England or abroad, and we're just not talking about an elite fullback prospect like Couto, Dest, or Tavares here (Notably, nor Couto or Dest seem to have fetched that, of course Couto for age reasons, but Dest, a far superior player to AMN, going for 21m euros should tell you something about this market...).

    In short, I think £20m in this window for AMN was really something of a no-brainer.

    edit: forgot about Neco Williams, Ki Jana-Hoever, and Ethan Laird, all interesting RB talents who could quite easily surpass AMN in the coming seasons.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2020
  11. lomekian

    lomekian Well-Known Member

    Fair enough - tone is always hard to tell over t'internet.

    Its interesting the different impression people get of players. By the time he was 19 I had given up on Zelalem and Crowley considerably earlier. Neither looked like they had pro games. Crowley had lots of talent, but too often played like the most talented kid in the playground rather than a team orientated footballer. Zelalem was dreamy passer, but his work rate and lack of urgency were alarming. Another one who was always a long shot despite oodles of talent was JET. Capable of outrageous brilliance, but far too often just ambled around when he should have been owning games at those levels.

    Both those players had better passing technique and vision than AMN, but little else beyond good touch. If Ainsley with his superior physical gifts had their eye for a pass and weight of pass, he'd be a fixture in central midfield despite looseness.

    I guess you are talking about technique when you actually mean specific elements of technique. Ainsley has very good allround technique, but has never had that level of passing, vision and receiving the ball on the half-turn that would have resulted in him playing as a number 10 about u18 level. For me he's a bit like a defensively orientated Oxlade-Chamberlain. Better tackler, better postionally, better at short passing off either foot. Not as good at shooting, crossing or longer passing at pace. But in the right midfield set up, could still offer interesting attributes to a midfield 3 - likely not as a first choice option, but as a back up.

    His development has been hampered a little but playing for Arsenal at different times at every position bar centre-forward and goalie. I think his technical development has spread wider and thinner as a result.

    On dribbling, having AWB that high on the stats shows how meaningless they are, because he doesn't often beat his man in the areas that actually matter. Its one thing running past a disinterested winger on the half way line, quite another skinning an opposition full back.

    I'd agree that tricks aren't that important, but options in the ways you can beat a man are significant. AWB can run past players, but can't beat them. AMN is not as good at burning people on the outside, but can beat them in more ways and can do so on the inside or the outside, which gives him more options. He's also garnered rather more assists and goals to date than AWB, and is just a better footballer in the final third.
    I agree Saka's close control is important, but far more important is his choosing when to do what, and the conviction with which he does it.
    Hazard and Messi are different creatures. Incredible leg power and low centres of gravity and incredible agility. Messi can turn in 3 directions at the speed most people can only turn once. AMN just doesn't the build to make that possible!

    Agree Partey is and was more advanced. Was just making the point that he's made incredible strides in the last 3-4 years and that were AMN to do the same, he'd be a very very good player.

    The part i take real issue is the idea that £20m now is £40-50m pre-covid. Its simply not true. Sure less teams are signing players and have money to spend, but I don't see transfer fees tumbling like that. Most clubs, rather than undervaluing their assets by selling to clubs who either are affected or are pleading poverty, are holding onto the guys they aren't actively shopping unless the bids are still close to pre-covid prices.

    AMN's value is NOT going to decrease. He's a 23 years old English international who can play in multiple positions. Unless they fall off a cliff, that profile of player simply doesn't decline in value in the short to medium term. Selling him for £20m, particularly with Brexit coming up, would be very very stupid. £30m would be a smidge under, but I could live with it. Even if he never improves, he'll still be a £20-30m player for another 5 years.
  12. lomekian

    lomekian Well-Known Member

    What's with the RB comparisons? A key part of AMN's value is his ability to play multiple positions competently, making him a useful tournament player. And comparing him to a younger RB prospect from Ajax is meaningless because it ignores the EPL and homegrown premiums, plus the fact we SHOULD demand twice any fee Ajax do for any equivalent player given our financial power. Ajax have to sell, and everyone knows it.

    The rest of your comparisons could be excellent in the future, but equally, bar Aarons, none have done a damn thing at senior level for any duration. Lamptey is exciting and is great going forwards, but is also tiny and defensively very suspect. Neco Williams is ok, but I see nothing special about his game beyond stamina. The rest barely have a 1st team game between them
  13. AbouCuéllar

    AbouCuéllar Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I agree on Crowley, I had given up on him within a short time of him being here. That was more anecdotal. Zelalem I think could've been developed into something more than he was--he was interesting Dortmund before his injury--but that injury came at a terrible time for him. He did well for Rangers at a young age and should've at least had a nice pro career in Europe without that injury.

    Yeah, it seems like our main disagreement is on the market then, because I feel like if anything I am even underestimating the effects of covid in my estimations. Perhaps in England it seems a bit different, but I mean this has done such damage that the biggest club in the world, Madrid, has not even considered signing a player and has moved to quickly shed wages, even of players that they see a future for (Achraf, Reguilón). PSG has acted similarly.

    I don't think James is signed for a free in a regular market, I don't think Dest goes for anything but 40m, as there would've been more competition for his signature than just Barça and Bayern (a team that could only offer him a squad role) to drive the price up, and far less necessity for Ajax to sell. We're talking about a 19 year old perhaps top in the world RB prospect, that he goes for 20m is surely significant. Similarly, we would not be discussing a fee of around 45-50m euros for Aouar in a normal market, we'd be talking at least £20m-30m more. Surely there are some more illustrative examples I am forgetting, but it feels like some of you guys in England are perhaps underestimating a bit what covid has done to football since English clubs are the most financially stable and most responsibly run compared to the rest of the world. The Sancho negotiation for example looks like an exception in the market-- Dortmund are a cautiously run club financially, so can play their hand well knowing that they are negotiating with one of the most covid-proof clubs in United, and most importantly have a player that's happy to stay for another year.

    So that would be our main disagreement as well as the last paragraph, as I am not at all so sure as you that AMN's value will retain. Things move fast in football and especially a player that struggles on the ball in this modern game can quickly lose a lot of value, Wolves can easily look back in a year or two and say that's not a player that interests me. There's also the point that EVEN IF we sign Maitland-Niles for, let's say, £10m more in two years--which is perhaps an optimistic scenario--or next season for the same amount, those are £20m that are not necessarily of the same importance to us. If we had sold AMN and managed to buy both Thomas and Aouar, we'd be looking at a team with much less needs going forward, and also one MUCH more likely to achieve CL this season (in a unique opportunity, so long as Ole is in charge of United's squad), which in turn enables us to fill whatever remaining needs there are. In short, I really feel like the opportunity cost + risk of depreciation with AMN simply does not come close to equalling out with the potential of appreciation.

    As I made clear, I do not believe AMN has a future as anything but a fullback. A lot of modern fullbacks can operate on the left and right so I don't consider that to be a major plus in terms of versatility, though it is nice, if not particularly rare at this point.
  14. lomekian

    lomekian Well-Known Member

    But you are talking about the European Market, and are quite right about that market. I'm talking about the English domestic market, which is the only market that applies to the player in question. It has stayed pretty stable price wise. And as a home grown player in the UK, he has a greater market value than he otherwise would in the domestic market.

    Were we talking about a comparable player from, say Morocco, playing in Ligue 1 or Italy, I think your valuation would be right. But the fact is we are not. We are talking about an English footballer, playing for one of the biggest clubs in the financially strongest league in the world, whose domestic value as an English player will only increase post Brexit.

    I take the point about using the money on the players we need, but, even so, you don't sell a home grown player for below their value when you have quotas to meet, particularly when you already need to shift 3 other non home-grown players in order to register your new signing and not have someone being paid £100k a week or more to not even be available to be registered.

    I guess the difference is that you are talking in general terms, and my point about value is very specific.
  15. AbouCuéllar

    AbouCuéllar Well-Known Member

    I think one of the reasons I would be comfortable to do that is because I feel the state of our academy and young English talent in general is very strong, so I see players like AMN as rather replaceable (in our own academy we have Oyegoke, Norton-Cuffy, Joel López--if he's still there--as interesting fullback prospects, and another one who we lost to Leicester in Vontae Daley-Campbell). I'm the kind of person who would love, and think it's quite feasible, to fill out most of the team with academy players, ensuring that you are buying non-HG players that are of top quality (as we've seemed to have done with Gabriel, as Aouar and Thomas would represent). I agree it would've been a risk to sell AMN to facilitate other deals, especially not being sure if we are going to be able to offload all of our non-HG dross (if we get rid of Torreira, Kola, Mustafi, and Sokratis we'll have done very well here, though, tbf), but it's a risk I would've taken, given the reward (potential for a very competitive team under a very interesting manager and a real interesting shot at top 4 places).

    I take your point about the English market, though even here I think it's noticeable that City, Tottenham, and United have spent less than they would otherwise, and if Chelsea have you also have to factor in they're coming off a transfer ban. Also the two markets are intertwined to a certain extent. I also worry that the next market might be as bad or worse for England, seeing as realistic vaccine releases and returns to normality seem farther and farther away, England is looking to be one of the last to return to reduced capacity, and there are some worrying articles suggesting money is running out for English clubs, even the top ones.

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