Mikel Arteta tells forgotten Arsenal ace what he has to do to get back into the team

Mikel Arteta has a message for Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has told out-of-favour youngster Ainsley Maitland-Niles how he can work his way back into his first-team plans.

The 22-year-old had become a regular for Arsenal under Unai Emery, but has seen less playing time since Arteta took over, though this has also coincided with the return from injury of Hector Bellerin.

It remains to be seen if Maitland-Niles is really good enough to form part of Arsenal’s future, especially when other academy graduates such as Bukayo Saka and Eddie Nketiah have made such an immediate impression in their outings for the senior side.

Discussing Maitland-Niles, Arteta sent the player a clear message on what he has to do to get himself back in favour.

“Ainsley needs to put his head down, work hard and show me every day in training he wants it more than anybody else and that he wants to play for this club and fight for his place,” Arteta told football.london.

This seems fair enough from the Spanish tactician, and it’s good to see he’s demanding of everyone in his squad, as we truly cannot afford any passengers at the moment as we look to salvage something from this disappointing season.

6 Comments

  1. Atid says:

    Considering he has won the most tackles of any other player and is the 4th highest on assists. I can only assume he doesn’t put it in training. On the pitch he certainly performs better than mustafi, sokratis, luiz, ozil, ceballos and xhaka. I think if played on the right of a 3 man midfield he will excel.

  2. Grandad says:

    Spot on Atid.The fact that he seems so laid back and complacent at times is working against him but to me he has most of the attributes to be a successful box to box midfielder.I hope he gets another run in the team soon.Bellerin has been far from impressive since he returned from injury and AMN has shown on a number of occasions that he is more than capable of mailing down the RB position.He needs to follow the example of his younger pal Saka who has knuckled down at left back despite being a natural winger.

  3. gunnerforlife says:

    AMN can play naturally in the midfield and can also play as a RB as and when Belarin is out of form. AMN is certainly a good player and will surely come good.

  4. Stewart Macintosh says:

    Bellerin needs to sit as he has not been good. The logical fill in is Maitland-Niles. I guess Arteta’s comment explains why he hasn’t come on.

    1. ZA mind says:

      Bellerin just needs support when defending. if our right winger plays poorly, what can he do. he cant mark 2-3 players at once.
      We definitely need a fast paced midfield.
      We play at a snails pace because we have very slow midfielders. No one runs with the ball in the centre to cause fear in the opposition defence to cause them to run backwards to mark our forwards. Buy the time we do our merry go round – back and sideways passes, the opposition gets quickly organized to defend.

      1. Stewart Macintosh says:

        I hope that you are right because he has not looked good, even with Arteta’s increased focus on defense.

        I fear that the injuries have taken too much of a toll – as speed was a key component for him – I do hope that I am wrong!

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