Everton boss Rafael Benitez was never that keen on bringing Arsenal ace Ainsley Maitland-Niles to Goodison Park before the transfer deadline.
That’s according to The Times, who claim that the Spaniard just wasn’t that keen on a potential deal for Maitland-Niles.
It seems like the pursuit was being driven by Marcel Brands, who was keen to find another right back option before the transfer window slammed shut.
Everton launched a move for Maitland-Niles on Monday, but Arsenal decided to keep hold of their homegrown ace despite not starting him this season.
Maitland-Niles took to Instagram to plead with Arsenal to let him go, but the deadline has passed with the 24-year-old still at the Emirates Stadium.
Brands may have been disappointed, but it sounds like Benitez just wasn’t that fussed about signing Maitland-Niles.
It’s maybe worth noting that Maitland-Niles hasn’t always been happy about playing at right back, and still fancies himself as a central midfielder.
That’s where Maitland-Niles played on loan at West Bromwich Albion last season, but many prefer him to play as a right back.
Maybe Benitez didn’t want to run into an issue over that down the line, or maybe he just didn’t rate Maitland-Niles in the first place.
It seems odd that Everton would so keenly pursue somebody that their manager didn’t want, but maybe it’s better for Maitland-NIles that he didn’t make the move.