Mikel Arteta has suggested that Ainsley Maitland-Niles could still have a future at Arsenal.

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The 23-year-old confirmed his loan move from the Gunners to West Brom for the remainder of the season with minutes remaining of transfer deadline day.

The reason for the move is his joint dissatisfaction at a lack of playing time and at being played almost anywhere except his preferred position.

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But speaking after the signing was confirmed Arteta hinted that the youngster could still have a part to play going forward at the Emirates if the move goes well.

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“Ainsley is a very talented player and we are proud of his hard work and development with us,” he told Arsenal.com.

“This decision to go on loan to West Bromwich Albion for the rest of this season is to support Ainsley and his growth further.

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“He will be working at a very good club in the Premier League and we all wish him the best of luck during his time at the Hawthorns.”

The fact that he’s being made with a view to supporting his growth would seem to suggest that Arteta wants the player to come back and be part of his squad at Arsenal next season.

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Maitland-Niles came close to joining Wolves permanently last summer but was convinced to stay by the Gunners boss who looks like he still wants him around.

Technical director Edu echoed Arteta’s sentiments suggesting that there is still scope for Maitland-Niles to make it as a regular first teamer at the Emirates.

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The Brazilian also highlighted how important the England international’s desire for game time with a view to the upcoming Euros had been in influencing the decision.

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“We wish Ainsley the best of luck for his time with West Bromwich Albion,” he said.

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“He deserves the opportunity to play consistently, which is what he needs for his club and international career ambitions and we fully support him with that.”

For all the latest news as it happens around Arsenal on deadline day follow our live blog here.

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