Maitland-Niles Names Main Reason for Joining Roma

Ainsley Maitland-Niles has waxed lyrical about Roma head coach Jose Mourinho after completing his loan move from Arsenal earlier today. Following a lacklustre first half of the season at the Emirates, the 24-year-old will spend the remainder of the season in Rome, hopeful of reviving his career.

Maitland-Niles made just eight Premier League appearances under Mikel Arteta this term. He last played for the Gunners in November’s 5-0 thumping at Liverpool. After finding himself at the bottom of the pecking order in North London, the versatile midfielder realised that moving away would be his best chance to get his stuttering career back on track.

Although a number of Premier League clubs were interested in acquiring his services, the Englishman has ended up joining Roma on a dry loan, without an option to buy. It is understood that Mourinho insisted on Maitland-Niles’ signing, particularly in light of the uncertainty surrounding Leonardo Spinazzola’s return to action following a nightmarish knee injury.

The Special One has already helped a few struggling Premier League stars rekindle their careers. Chris Smalling, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Tammy Abraham have gone from strength to strength at the Stadio Olimpico following rough patches in England’s top-flight with Manchester United and Chelsea, respectively.

Maitland-Niles hopes Mourinho could help him regain confidence and regular first-team football after a frustrating six months at Arsenal. The Gunners’ homegrown midfielder identified the former Inter manager as the main reason behind his decision to leave his native country for the first time.

He’s one of the best managers in the world – if not the best. He’s won numerous titles and he’s just a great person. He speaks the truth, he’s a happy person and he wants to win,” he told Roma’s official YouTube channel.

And that’s what football is about: winning. So to be working under a manager like that; you can’t really ask for any more than that as a player. 

He came to dinner last night. We were speaking about the plans going forward and what he wants from me and what he expects. It was a good conversation.

Despite joining Roma, Maitland-Niles could be in contention to face Juventus in a blockbuster Serie A fixture on Sunday.