Ainsley Maitland-Niles has joined Southampton on a season-long loan from Arsenal.

The 25-year-old, who spent the second half of last season on loan with Roma, had offers from Newcastle and Crystal Palace but has opted to head to St Mary’s to become Ralph Hasenhuttl’s seventh summer signing.

Before making the move, it is understood Maitland-Niles inked an extension to his current Arsenal contract, which had just 12 months left to run but will now expire in 2024.

Hasenhuttl said: “Ainsley is at a good point in his career, with a lot of experience already, but he is also still a player with potential, and he is someone who can definitely help us.

“I think he fits well with us and can develop his game even further during his time here. He can also play in different positions, which is always a good thing, and I am pleased to welcome him as part of our squad.”

The versatile Maitland-Niles, who began his career as a central midfielder but has spent a lot of time as a right-back in recent years, follows Gavin Bazunu, Sekou Mara, Romeo Lavia, Armel Bella-Kotchap, Joe Aribo and Mateusz Lis in moving to Southampton.

There had been plans to add Cody Gakpo to that group, only for PSV Eindhoven to rule out his departure in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Southampton, led by recruitment chief Joe Shields, have also agreed deals to sign Manchester City youngsters Samuel Edozie and Juan Larios.


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