Arsenal need more youngsters like Maitland-Niles

Arsenal’s reputation as the team that brought more youngsters through their academy and nurtured them to play ‘the Arsenal Way’ when they arrived to play in the senior side. This is not so true nowadays and Wenger’s wish, five years ago, of his “English Core” becoming world-beaters seems to have fallen by the wayside, but yesterday’s squad did consist of players like Bellerin, Iwobi and Jack Wilshere who all came through our training, and the latest addition of Ainsley Maitland-Niles who Wenger seems to have picked as the cream of the crop of our upcoming youngsters.

He has started in Arsenal’s last two games, displacing Saed Kolasinac no less, and Wenger is very pleased with his progress. “I believe he is the future.” the boss said when asked about AMI. “He can play left back, right back, central midfield. Of the three positions, maybe the least natural for him is left back, but he adapts very quickly and is a good defender. He has that sense of one against one, he is very strong, he is very quick, he has very quick recovery runs when he comes back. He has some aspects to learn: experience and he has to work on his heading. But overall, what he has done in the last three days is positive.”

When Arsenal had limited funds whilst paying for the new stadium, Wenger managed to keep us in the Top Four by promoting youngsters from the reserves, but since Wenger starting spending heavily in the transfer market we seem to have regressed!! But now, with transfer fees reaching ridiculous heights, perhaps Wenger needs to go back to teaching youngsters the ‘Arsenal Way’ and bringing more into the first team. Last year was Iwobi’s turn, and now we have Maitland-Niles coming through, and we also have Reiss Nelson, Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Eddie Nketiah, Joe Willock, the reserves Captain Julio Pleguezuelo, and Krystian Bielik (and many others) all maturing in readiness for the first team.

Should we be using our youngsters much more often as they seem to play just as well as our expensively acquired squad?



  1. Ainsley is good – but not that good. The same goes for most of the other youngsters we have at the club. The only two that might get a good run in the first team in the future are Nelson ( if played in his proper position in central midfield and maybe Beilik who shows a bit of class in his central defender role and could also play as a CDM. Iwobe, Willock Adelaide, Zelalem all look lightweight and are prone to errors

    1. Yes they may be lightweight now but they are young and have time and the facilities to make them bulk up. Look at Ozil when he first arrived!

      1. I’m afraid that with all top clubs now the emphasis is on money and league position and these clubs would rather buy than promote youngsters. You can count on one hand the amount of players in the top six clubs that have come through the youth ranks and stayed and played for their club. Jack wilshere is the only one at the arse.

  2. I think the gamble taken by Le Boss to start the youngter, Ains Maitland-Niles in back to back Premier League encounters has relatively paid off as Arsenal got some payments from the dividends declared per stake in the game. And on this note, I encourage the Gunners to take encouragement from the payments Arsenal got in 4 points in their last 2 outings in the Premier League and pounce on the West Hammers, pound them thoroughly and collect all the hammers in their hands and use them to hammer them comprehensively in the Carabao Cup quaterfinal match between them and Arsenal on Tuesday night’s at the Emirates Stadium.

  3. Quite poorly written and facts are all over the place. Arsenal, as a club, were recently revealed as the team who had provided the most minutes for academy players out of the entire top flight.

    The first sentence doesn’t make any sense?

  4. In a ideal world we would all use our youth setup to fill our ranks

    But be honest …maitland Niles is 20 …would u rather play him and let him eventually hopefully become good enough
    Like we did with Hector iwobi …still hasn’t worked out for us

    Or just buy sane for 35 and jesus for 30 .
    Who are both same age as maitland Niles and are the finished article .

    Wenger hasn’t brought though and developed a world class player in 2 decades here…
    Poached yes .
    But developed from day dot …nope

    1. All the time Wenger has been here … I can only point to Wilshere and Cole – who had the advantage of learning with the famous back 4. We poached Fabregas and would not let him rejoin (Fact). We poached Bellerin – who is now looking more ordinary than was expected. Who else was there ? We usually made £1 million here and there (or nothing) when they ended up elsewhere.

  5. Remember past player called the ox, who can playing in winger, cm, wb even a lb.
    Playing in many positions, that make him no mastered any position at all

  6. Let’s not get too excited about him. Yes he’s started very well, but then again how many youngsters looked good for us when they broke into the team, before plateauing?

    Bellerin is the latest example. People were talking about him becoming one the best RB/RWB in Europe, and now he’s become a squad player at best. He can’t defend, he can’t attack, I am not sure what he does anymore? Bring back Lauren!!!!

      1. Well , Debuchy at least. Nelson, though an exciting player, is never a full back and if Wenger EVER decided to use him correctly could be a great , one day. But NOT as a full back, no more than BELLERIN is either. A huge disappointment after his promising career start. Debuchy for me.

    1. If only! And Dixon/ Winterburn and all full backs who knew how to defend, as virtually none today, anywhere know how to anymore. We regard full backs as defenders. Well then, most of them, Bellerin very much included, are sub par defenders. Most of them have not the discipline to be fuly aware at all times of the space and holes left behind them. BELLERIN , MORE THAN MOST.

  7. I’m very sure u r interested and impressed by Dele Ali’s quality? meanwhile he was sold out of Arsenal by those who had no confidence in him and Kane. Give more consideration to their current qualities than the makeup they need.
    They are prospects

  8. Niles has great attributes. He has a rolls Royce engine. Speed, agility, strength, can use his weaker foot. He should be taking tips from Cazorla, if they boy can learn how to dribble well and pass quick/correctly, then he would make an excellent CDM. That wass what had Vieira stand out from others, his all round ability. Long way to go, but we need to get Niles p[laying CM right now. Ramsey is injured, Wilsherre is not far behind and cannot hold back. Xhaka is endangering us, Coq and Elneny are not first team quality so will likely be the ones to make room for incomers. We know we need to buy, but before we do we should at least have a proper look at what we got. Before VVD finally looked a monster specimen, he too would have had the attributes but wait was needed to see if he had the brain and the will.

    We need to see if Niles can make the right choices, which danger to sniff out, whether to stay with marker or to go charge it down from the source. Duels versus battlers is allot different to facing wingers, because out wide they aren’t made of the same stuff that players along the spine are made of. Also CDM used to be akin to having a third CB, Xhaka is nothing like a third CB when under pressure. Niles might be better suited.

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