Former West Brom midfielder Carlton Palmer does not expect Ainsley Maitland-Niles to play in the Championship next season.
Palmer, who played for West Brom in the 80s, has claimed that his former side are fortunate to have a player like Maitland-Niles among their ranks.
The England international moved to the Hawthorns on loan from Arsenal in the January transfer window and has enjoyed playing in his preferred central midfield position under manager Sam Allardyce.
However, come the end of the season, Palmer believes West Brom’s chances of getting him to extend the deal or signing him permanently are slim because he’s got the quality to be a good Premier League player.
Speaking exclusively to The Transfer Tavern, he said, “West Brom were lucky to get him out because he was in the Arsenal team playing very, very well. And I think [Mikel] Arteta was a bit reluctant to let him go.
“He’s a good player; he’s a really good player. I don’t see why it would be in his interest to drop in the Championship. He can play in the Premier League, and can play well in the Premier League.”
Former England favourite Stuart Pearce also waxed lyrical about the player, calling him ‘outstanding’ in October last year. [talkSPORT via TBR]
Fact of the matter
Should we have avoided the drop, there was a very good chance that the player would be at the Hawthorns for next season.
He’s enjoyed life at West Brom, started regularly in his preferred position, and has won over the support of Big Sam.
Should he leave Arsenal as many expect him to, he would need to once again acclimatise himself with the culture at that club.
The only thing holding him from pushing to extend his loan spell is the fact that he expects to play in the English top flight and we’ll be surprised if no other club shows an interest in him.
Like Maitland-Niles, Okay Yokuslu is also expected to join a Premier League club, leaving us reliant on our recruitment and Big Sam’s management to get us out of the Championship next season.
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