Ainsley Maitland-Niles has always insisted that he is at his best when he plays as a central midfielder, but that might not be exactly correct.
The Englishman is currently spending the rest of the season on loan at West Brom as he continues his development in the game.
He struggled for chances at Arsenal and when he did play, it was generally out of position either as a right wing-back or as a left wing-back.
He has always insisted that he sees himself as a central midfielder and he was expecting to play in that position after joining the Baggies.
He was in fine form for his loan team in their goalless draw against Burnley.
It was an important point in their bid to avoid relegation to the English Championship at the end of this season and Maitland-Niles contributed immensely.
The midfielder almost scored a goal, but he shot his effort over the bar in the stalemate.
Speaking on the midfielder’s performance after the game, Sam Allardyce suggested that the left-wing might be his best position after he did better when switched to that position.
This negates the midfielder’s preference and might show that he doesn’t exactly know his best position.
“Absolutely – very good,” he reflected on Birmingham Mail, when asked about Maitland-Niles’ showing.
“He should’ve scored. I thought it was a good chance but he should’ve hit the target. He isn’t a natural finisher but we hope that those midfielders can pop up with one now and again.
“That would’ve been a really important one, but his overall performance…he may have made himself look better in the wide left position, rather than central midfield, after that performance.
“We went to 4-4-1 and pushed him out left. Or he could switch with Matheus, I don’t mind. Ainsley, Matheus and Mbaye were our most dangerous players going forward.”