Several Arsenal players were in fine form as they beat Watford 1-0 this afternoon and former Gunner Alan Smith singled out Ainsley Maitland Niles for praise.
The midfielder had wanted to leave Arsenal in the last transfer window due to lack of playing time.
However, he was forced to stay and then Mikel Arteta convinced him he has a role to play in the team.
The Spaniard started him in midfield alongside Albert Sambi Lokonga and the England international was in fine form.
Smith said he wasn’t flamboyant, but he was effective and got the job done.
“He’s done well today Maitland-Niles. Not spectacular but he’s moved the ball on. Defensively he’s been sound. It’s good to see,” Smith said on Sky Sports as quoted by TBR Football.
Maitland-Niles has been asking for his chance to be a regular at the Emirates and did well in this game, which improves the likelihood of him playing more matches for the club.
However, the return of Thomas Partey will almost certainly relegate him to the bench once again.
But he could get more than enough chances to impress in the new year as Partey and Mohamed Elneny are expected to be at AFCON with their respective countries.