Mikel Arteta endured quite the firestorm just before Christmas, but it appears all troubles at Arsenal have been extinguished.
A horror run of five defeats in seven matches between November and December saw the Gunners fall perilously close to the relegation zone and poured cold water over any prospects of a top-four finish.
However, a late Christmas present in the form of a dominant 3-1 victory against Chelsea on Boxing Day jump-started the Spaniard’s side and a further five Premier League wins in six matches, appears to have lit a spark for a potential late push for the top four.
The arrival of Martin Odegaard on loan from Real Madrid has also maintained the high spirits in North London who look to have the fire in their bellies again.
But, as is so often the case when a new player comes through the revolving door, another vacates the other way.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles is a player who is held in high regard at the Emirates, coming through the academy and becoming an integral member of the Arsenal squad.
However, the versatile midfielder, who has also played as a full-back on both wings has been limited to 11 domestic appearances and has had to settle for starts in the Europa League and the League Cup this term.
The 23-year old has been the fall man in Arteta’s reversion to a back-four this season with Kieran Tierney, Hector Bellerin and Cedric Soares appearing to be his preferred full backs.
Now, according to reports from Birmingham Live, West Bromwich Albion are extremely interested in the services of the England international on a temporary loan basis.
West Brom manager Sam Allardyce has already brought in Robert Snodgrass from West Ham but is looking for a solution to his side’s defensive woes, who were most recently taken apart 5-0 by Manchester City.
The Baggies also have a track record of taking fine young players such as Mason Holgate and Harvey Barnes to the Midlands and returning them back to their clubs as more experienced and developed players.
So this possibly could be the perfect move to relight Maitland-Niles’ career.