Watford transfer rumours: Hornets weighing up swoop for Arsenal midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles

Watford weighing up swoop for Arsenal midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles

With the summer transfer window now open for English clubs, Watford have already bolstered their squad by drafting in five new players.

Whereas the likes of Kwadwo Baah and Mattie Pollock may find it difficult to immediately adjust to the competitiveness of the Premier League, Danny Rose and Ashley Fletcher will fancy their chances of becoming regular member of the Hornets' starting eleven next season.

Meanwhile, Imran Louza will be hoping to replicate the displays that he produced during the previous campaign for Nantes as he was directly involved in 10 goals in 35 league appearances.

Despite being able to call upon the likes of Louza, Will Hughes, Tom Cleverley and Nathaniel Chalobah, Watford manager Xisco Munoz could be about to add to his options in midfield by swooping for one of Arsenal's academy graduates.

According to the Daily Mirror, the Hornets are reportedly weighing up a move for Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

The Gunners midfielder, who is also attracting a great deal of interest from Southampton, spent the second-half of the previous campaign on loan at West Bromwich Albion.

Whilst he was unable to prevent the Baggies from suffering relegation to the second-tier, Maitland-Niles did illustrate glimpses of his talent during the 16 appearances that he made for the club.

Considering that the England international's current deal at the Emirates Stadium is set to run until 2023, the Hornets may need to submit a sizeable bid in order to secure his services.

It is understood that Southampton and Watford are both expected to step up their pursuit of Maitland-Niles next week by making an approach for the Arsenal man.

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Providing that this report is correct, it could turn to out to somewhat of a coup by the Hornets if they are able to beat Southampton to Maitland-Niles' signature.

Currently behind the likes of Thomas Partey, Emile Smith Rowe and Mohamed Elneny in the pecking order at the Emirates Stadium, the 23-year-old may be forced to watch on from the sidelines next season if he decides to stay at the Emirates.

Therefore, in order to prevent his development from stalling, it could be argued that a move to Watford could end up benefitting both parties.

Whilst the Hornets will be able to call upon a player who knows exactly what it takes to compete at this level having played 79 games in the Premier League during his career, Maitland-Niles will be able to learn from the guidance of Munoz who has had a positive impact on the club's players in recent months.

Although Maitland-Niles' struggles for consistency last season resulted in him averaging a relatively underwhelming WhoScored match rating of 6.48 for West Brom, he unquestionably possesses the potential to become a classy operator at this level and thus it may be worth taking a risk on him.

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