Good luck to Ainsley Maitland-Niles after promotion to Arsenal’s first team squad

It is always good to see Arsenal youngsters come through the Hale End Academy and join the Gunners first team squad. Alex Iwobi did it last year and was extremely impressive in the first half of the season, but Wenger doesn’t like overplaying his youth stars since the Jack Wilshere nightmare and he was sent back to the U21s after Christmas.

The latest graduate is Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who has shown some excellent form in the pre-season games in Australia and China, but I’m not sure if he did the right thing by taking out Franck Ribery in the Bayern match, which allowed Lewandowski to give the Germans a lead from the penalty spot. Maybe he just needs to learn to foul like that when the opponents are outside the box! Against Munich he started the match as a left wing-back but was moved into the centre-back role in the second half, but it usually considered a winger and has played a few times in central midfield as well.

The 19 year-old is very well respected and has been a regular in the England U19 and U20 sides, and was part of the winning side that won the U20 World Cup this summer. Although only once playing a cameo role against Newcastle in a League game, he has featured in 7 various Cup games for the Gunners, and will probably do so again in the upcoming campaign. He is versatile, strong and talented, which is exactly the way Wenger likes them, so he could be our next home-grown star of the future.

Good luck to him for the new season I say. He can only get better…..



  1. xhaka16 says:

    why the delay about Lemar deal if I may ask…….. resource!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Bob2 says:

      Awful name.. Do you walk at tortoise speed and watch the game go by… And then make a tackle so late you get yourself sent off?

  2. ENNY says:

    Who knows, d deluded one might use him out of position probably as a goal keeper in our next match

  3. trugun says:

    Hope he starts to improve fast, he was awful against Chelsea, the BFG was having to coach him throughout.

    1. Josh37 says:

      Probs cos he isn’t a centre back?

    2. Bigperf says:

      Daft. He’s not a cb so chill out mate

  4. gunner17 says:

    he’s not first team on

  5. kev says:

    This is the one player I feel sorry for in the Arsena teaml.Just because he’s defensively solid doesn’t mean he’ll be solid being played out of position.The guy is not a RB,RWB and CB.He’s a CM for crying out loud.I wonder if he’s ever played RB,RWB or CB for the academy.Most times when I watch him he’s either a CM or a winger.I just don’t get this bizarre roles he’s being given in the team.It’s killing his confidence.Wenger must stop treating him this way.It’s preseason so I thought he’d rather get the chance to at least play in his favourite position.

    1. Arsenal_Girl says:

      He has played RB before

    2. Gooner Craig says:

      True bro but AW likes to play players out of position/defensive positions to help them improve tactically and defensively. AM-N playing these positions will hopefully help him develop into a solid player for AFC

  6. funkyrith says:

    Niles is having extended run in preseason, and doing really average. I doubt if he will be loaned this year for his good, he is too slow or too lazy

    1. funkyrith says:

      Ofc out of position, usual for Arsenal

      1. lord wafflebury says:

        bielik, nelson, willock, malen for starters mate

      2. lord wafflebury says:

        bielik, nelson, willock, malen for starters mate
        Meant as response to kams
        Plus matividi all better than niles imo

  7. Viera Lyn says:

    Ainsley has done nothing to deserve this promotion except his willingness to play out of position, which is a Wenger wet dream, unfortunately it will ultimately erode his skills and confidence in the end…I’d rather be above average in one position than sub-par in three or four…on the bright side it’s like a “new” signing…maybe he can replace Sanchez

  8. Aussie Jack says:

    Love Arsenal that I do I would have to think deeply about playing for them under the present management it would be too frustrating and I`d become confused which , if I were a youngster, could possibly affect my career. Anyway, at 82 it`s unlikely I would get the chance so I`ll settle for being a deluded supporter.

  9. When shall we ever field a strong team in these games? We may see Community Shield also lining up people out of position. One is bound to argue that the players in those positions were not available for selection but it’s frustrating. We played Bayern and they were stronger (we were overrun despite the equalizer), Chelsea thumped us 3 _ 0. When shall we be ever ready for the start of the season?

  10. Janssen says:

    Same old Wenger! Before Niles can even properly learn one position at first team level he gets played out of position as a CB, the position that takes the most experience to play since it requires reading the game more than any other position.

    If you are going to bring youngsters, which is not a bad thing, play them in their strongest position so as not to damage their confidence but to also get a realistic view on where they are at in their development.

    1. Ken says:

      Arsenal is still a weak team, Wenger should stop fooling us again and sign players else we shall never win premier with this young players who would never grow,and when shall we ever win the champions league!!! may be Sanchez is right to go.

  11. Abhinav Talwar says:

    Could everyone just relax!
    Let’s not start Wenger shaming just cause we lost a friendly.
    This season we need to show our unity and lend the team our support.
    At the end of last season even the home games were like away ones because of the hostile environment

  12. lord wafflebury says:

    We lost because wenger decided to play kids out of position from the off whereas conte imo decided to play his best available 11 ! Kos and sead should have been on from the off and like chelsea brought the kids on later. They had plenty of game time in sydney although niles played terribly there. If not careful, wenger will shatter kids confidence playing them out of position.
    Not been impressed at all by niles…saw him a few times on loan at ipswich as a winger and he was pretty average tbh. Think there are better academy kids who deserve promotion to him imo…nowhere near premier league standard sorry.

    1. Kams says:

      “Better academy kids”……… who?

  13. ade says:

    We lost friendly game some r crying, Niles is under going training guys r nagging. Can’t u just relax n understand.

  14. amb98 says:

    Feel a bit sorry for Maitland-Niles, constantly being played out of position. This may develop more tactical understanding but means he lacks rhythm, stability and consistency. I hope AW just plays him as a CM, his ability to break up play and composure were impressive when he played their against Southampton in the FA Cup. He may even benefit from a loan move to Brighton/Huddersfield.

  15. John says:

    Mainland-Niles is an exceptionally smart and determined to succeed young man………he really is an awesome cool youngster…….that’s one of the reasons he is in the first team at 17……playing him out of position will not have deficits for him in the long term ………probably an Arsenal and/or England captain………he will be ok………I expect him and Bielik as holding midfielders this season,,,,,,even if we sign William Carvalho………..

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