Could Maitland-Niles England call-up be a blessing in disguise?

International call up for Maitland-Niles might be a blessing in disguise!

For a player that cannot cement down a place in the Arsenal first team, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, regardless of how much game time he gets for the three Lions, is managing to catch the eye of Gareth Southgate as he continuously opts to pick him.

Ainsley alongside Bukayo Saka has yet again been called up to the senior first team of the England men’s squad for the upcoming friendly against Ireland and the Nations League qualifiers against Belgium and Iceland.

It is nice to see that although a player is not consistently playing in his clubs’ team, that he will still be called up for the national side. I have at times been critical of Ainsley, but his inconsistent performances could also come down to the fact that he is not getting that consistent game time for Arsenal. Something which I am sure is frustrating the player as much as anything or anyone else.

Ainsley is still only 23 years old and can at times be versatile in his style of play. Arteta normally deploys him in defence but Ainsley can also be played in midfield. And as we have been lacking on the creative front maybe Mikel should deploy him in midfield to see just what he can produce if anything.

All in all, despite not getting the consistent game time he actually deserves at times, I am happy that Southgate has opted to pick him for the upcoming games. Whether he will play him for all three games for the whole 90 minutes remains to be seen though, and although I myself hate internationals as I get worried that players will pick up injuries and be out for the long term, it must be a confidence booster for Ainsley to know even with a lack of game time at Arsenal that he is still in the mind of the England manager.

Shenel Osman

Tags England maitland-niles southgate


  1. Ainsley, would simply slot into any coach’s match day squad. Mikel is simply wasting the guy’s time on the bench. Give Ainsley roles on the pitch and he will damn deliver for u. Mikel should start him games after the international break.

  2. When Wenger started to play him, he knew he had a future starter in him, Emery did try to take it where Wenger left it.

    Look at gnarby or bennacer who left as he should a year ago; Niles can be doing as good elsewhere, a waist of talent Bellogun is looking at…

    Same for Rowe, Willock, Nelson who was emulating Sancho, buzzing in Germany playing only 1/2 season.

    How do they go from playing first league football to under 23 or benched?

    Youngsters won’t join academy as used to; clearly seeing decline of that image & reputation bringing young players into first team as Arsene did.

    Not just giving cameos or a chance to join first team but a process in bringing them and build them to first team starters.

    Can give so many example, almost every players were developed that way; Henry was what? 21…

    Prof had this savoir faire and overall management, linking academy & first team….

    Looking at team today, I can see Tierny Partey he both monitored, probably Havertz instead of Pepe, looking at Nelson already flying in Germany 2 years ago….

    We losing our identity and DNA while everyone copies what we used to be.

    Man U is playing young players, Spurs did same with Kane, Ali, Chelsea as well, Reds two back wingers as well.

    We are bringing Luiz, William Chelsea got rid of as Barkley to play Mount and co….

    Niles should be in team for a year at least. Willock should play every other game. He never featured in EPL this season and won’t see much time which doesn’t benefit him at all…

    Martinelli is in same case, he wouldn’t be playing….

    Poor management!

  3. I love AMN and the ease at which he plays the game. He is a genuine talent.

    If I was him I’d be looking at a move away from the Emirates at 23 years old

  4. Maitland-Niles played in midfield for England under 23. Only Arteta cannot see any potential in Maitland-Niles. Anytime that he gets a chance, he pulls up his socks. Arteta is a coach without vision

  5. I feel for Ashley, when clubs wanted to sign him he started in the FA Cup final and the community shield once it closed and he decided to stay with us he has barely played, am I reading too much into it??

  6. Another decent article Shenel. I for one am at a loss to know why AMN is not a regular in Arsenal with such as Bellerin playing regularly. To me there is no comparison at all and AMN is superior in all ways to Bellerin, even in running speed these days.
    As with many other fans, I am convinced that his most natural role is in midfield, possibly on the right side. He is mobile, speedy and has improved markedly this last year or so. He OUGHT to be in our team and Bellerin ought NOT to be. I would prefer him instead of Xhaka, if not playing at full back.

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