Ainsley Maitland-Niles made his first start of the season in a midfield role last night, and thoroughly impressed in his ‘natural position’ according to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.
The versatile youngster has been amongst our most consistent performers this season, and has already ousted Sead Kolasinac from the starting line-up despite the summer signing quickly becoming a fans favourite earlier in the campaign.
AMN is apparently a midfielder however, despite receiving the plaudits in his more regular role at wing-back or left-back, and he could well target a place at CM.
Wenger insisted he was happy with his youngster’s performance centrally, in which he helped us to a comfortable 3-0 away win.
“It’s his natural position,” Wenger said of Maitland-Niles. “I think 80 per cent of his game was good, and I feel he can win the ball back well.
“Defensively he’s quite strong, he’s got good acceleration and it’s a positive game for a first run.”
Xhaka is the more defensive option who is regularly selected to play alongside creative talents Aaron Ramsey or Jack Wilshere, but the majority of fans have not been convinced by the Swiss international, and I’m not sure any would complain would he be dropped to the bench.
That could well open the door for Kolasinac to take over his previous first-team role, and he is one player I would like to be playing more, with his determination, fight and true grit needed.
Should we drop Xhaka in order to move Maitland-Niles to midfield?