Soccer-Maitland-Niles asks to leave Arsenal, Willian terminates contract

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Soccer Football - Premier League - Aston Villa v West Bromwich Albion
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(Reuters) -Midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles has asked to leave Arsenal due to a lack of playing time while Brazil winger Willian has left the struggling Premier League club after his contract was mutually terminated.

Maitland-Niles, who can also play at right back, has been used sparingly by manager Mikel Arteta and spent the second half of last season on loan at West Bromwich Albion, where he played 15 times in the league.

The 24-year-old England international has been linked with a loan move to Everton by British media but is running out of time to secure a switch away from bottom side Arsenal with the transfer window closing late on Tuesday.

"All I want to do is go where I'm wanted and where I'm going to play," he wrote on Instagram.

Arsenal have got off to their worst start to a season in 67 years, with Arteta's side losing all three of their games without scoring a single goal.

They lost 5-0 to Manchester City on Saturday.

The club said on Monday Willian had been freed ahead of a switch to Corinthians on a free transfer.

The 33-year-old has struggled for form since he arrived at Arsenal from fellow London side Chelsea last year and made 38 appearances in the 2020-21 campaign.

"He had two more years to run on his contract but following positive ... discussions with him and his team, he'll be leaving for a new opportunity with Corinthians in Brazil where he began his career," Arsenal said in a statement https://www.arsenal.com/news/willian-leaves-club-mutual-consent.

Before his move to Arsenal, Willian scored 63 goals in 339 appearances in a trophy-laden spell with Chelsea after arriving from Russia's Anzhi Makhachkala in 2013.

He leaves England having won two Premier League titles, the FA Cup, the League Cup and the Europa League.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar and Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; editing by Clare Fallon/Peter Rutherford)

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