On-loan Arsenal midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles has admitted he feared ‘rotting away’ on the bench at the club before his temporary switch to West Bromwich Albion.
Maitland-Niles joined the relegation-threatened Baggies in the January transfer window after struggling to nail down a first team place at the Emirates this season.
The 23-year-old had been in and out of the Gunners side under Mikel Aterta, deployed in a variety of positions in defence and midfield.
Following his deadline day move to the Hawthorns, Maitland-Niles has played every minute of all six games for Sam Allardyce’s team in his preferred central midfield spot.
The player expects to return to north London at the end of the deal but is pleased to have been given the opportunity to showcase his talent.
“It’s another loan deal, you are going to end up going back to the club eventually,” Maitland-Niles told Talksport.
“It was just more of a chance for me to show what I’m capable of other than sitting on the bench for the rest of the season and rotting away.
“The main reason was being able to play as there’s nothing better than playing.”
Despite Maitland-Niles’ arrival, the Midlands side remain firmly lodged in the Premier League relegation zone and are currently eight points from safety.
Allardyce’s side have won just one of their last ten in the league as fears of a return to the Championship look like more of a reality with each passing week.
But Maitland-Niles hopes he will be able to help his new side pull off an unlikely escape before the end of the season.
“I felt it would be great to experience the work of people trying to save their careers and stay in the Premier League,” he added.
“I think it was the perfect fit for me to be here and show them the qualities I can produce.”