Relaxed Maitland-Niles has earned the trust of his fellow Arsenal stars

The latest academy product to be promoted to the Arsenal first team is the 20 year-old Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who admits that he feels totally relaxed alongside the Gunners top stars after just four starts in the Premier League and he thinks he has already won the trust of his team-mates.

The official Arsenal website asked Maitland-Niles why he looked so calm despite his inexperience. “That’s just how I play,” he said. “I know people think, ‘Oh he looks too relaxed, he looks like this or that’, but it’s just me as a person.

“It is quite odd for a youngster, but the team make me feel more comfortable. They have trust in me and they will give me the ball when I need to be given the ball. It’s just the team who have helped me settle by working together and I think I’ve earned their trust.

“Of course I get nervous before the game too but, I think everyone has those little butterflies in their stomach. You’re playing against world-class players every week, so you’re bound to be nervous at some point in the day.

“I think my dad’s influence helped too. He’s a very relaxed person who likes to use his brain a lot without talking. If he can’t fix the situation then of course he’ll speak about it and try to solve it with other people. I’m like that too.”

He certainly looks and sounds like a first team player already. Is he definitely set to be a star of the future? Especially if Wenger ever plays him in his proper position! Wenger has alreasdy hinted that he could start in midfield against Forest this weekend….



  1. AndersS says:

    Yes, good point; “If Wenger ever would play him in his proper position”. He is not a leftback, and I fear his development can be halted (like many before him), because Wenger keeps thinking he can turn him into something he is not.

  2. Sue says:

    I didn’t think much of him to start with if I’m honest, but these last few games he has looked good… really cool & calm

  3. gotanidea says:

    If Wenger keeps using him as a left wingback or fullback, he had better learn how to cross better with his left leg and be smarter when reaching the byline. He is very quick and has a lot of guts to dribble past the opponents, but he could become another headless wingback/ fullback like Bellerin if he does not get better guidance.

    1. Jon Fox says:

      Agreed, but if Wenger keeps using him as a left back, it is hardly AM-N’s fault he is not suited to play there. It should be clear to most that M-N has attacking qualities and can surge past players with grace and pace. HIS REAL POSITION IMO IS NOT IN DEFENCE but further up field.

      1. Kenny Rolfe says:

        Exactly right Jon, I can’t believe there are some out there that voted against your post, if we paid £25 million for this kid, we’d all be saying, “what a buy”. Wenger knows how good this lad is and want’s to play him but left back is killing him. Move him to the right side of midfield then believe me you’ll see some player

  4. Jon Fox says:

    Ashley is clearly a highly talented player with a temperament to die for. I hold high hopes that in him, we may have unearthed a future major star. However, the next few months and two years will make a huge difference to his future development. Had we Guardiola, not Wenger as manager , I would be almost certain he will be a major player before long. BUT, we DO have Wenger and there is the problem. Already and stupidly, oddly , without any reaon in the land of reality thought, Wenger has done what he always does and tried his best to undermine and ruin him by playing him thoroughly out of position. This almost wilful attempt to ruin young players borders on insanity. In fact, forget the “borders on”, as it IS insanity. AM-N badly needs Wenger gone and then, but not otherwise , I feel sure we will soon have a central midfield attacking player of quality on our hands. HE CAN READ A GAME, GO PAST PLAYERS, HAS PACE AND CONTROL, AND STILL ONLY TWENTY. I DO NOT SEE HIS REAL ROLE IN DEFENCE AT ALL,THOUGH HE WOULD DO A FAR BETTER JOB THAN THE AWFUL XHAKA, AS WE ALL SURELY KNOW.

    1. pires says:

      WENGER has alredy stated that his best position is in the MIDDLE.But to learn his trad a player has to play wide.Cause while playing wide (in tight space)you become more skilfull in defence and attak.ANYWAY A.M.N did extremly well out wide.

      1. Jon Fox says:

        Simply not true. Players learn far more when playing in their natural and rightful position. PLEASE THINK DEEPLY ABOUT THIS. Just as schoolkids at school also do better when they are doing something they like. We all do . It is human nature. YOU REALLY SHOULD KNOW BETTER THAN TO BUY INTO WENGERS SILLY IDEA OF PLAYERS LEARNING MORE BY PLAYING OUT OF POSITION. All the playing evidence of Wenger’s silliness in doing this , is ample proof of this idea being nonsense. DO, PLEASE, think about it and think for yourself by using the evidence of what your eyes show you. Otherwise , why not play CECH as striker which would be equally ridiculous? OTHER TOP MANAGERS DO NOT DO THIS SORT OF THING.

  5. Goonerbri says:

    Funny how all of you know his real position! I’m all for Arsene retiring at the end of the year, but arsene knows him better than any of us, and he is doing a good job while monreal is out. He’s learning his trade, and having a spell at left back is good for our future. I’m sure arsene knows his best position and will give him game time there when needed.

  6. Midkemma says:

    I am eager to see AMN in CM however we can not ignore how well he has done as a WingBack, yes he has made a couple mistakes BUT he has looked better as a LWB than Bellerin has a RWB.

    The result of AMN playing LWB/LB has been the simple fact that he has gotten gametime when he wouldn’t have as a CM. Now he has the trust of players around him, they are happy to pass him the ball and to rely on him, he can step up to CM and make a greater impact.

    At least the wingback role is a bit like a Def B2B role, he will gain experience at going past players and also get time to hone his def skills while not being as important as a top DM should be. He has done very well but positioning a bit dodgy… He is proving himself and I hope Wenger rewards this with a game in CM against a ‘lesser’ team, to see how well he can do in the 1st team in that role.

    1. Jon Fox says:

      So then, he is slightly better than the hopeless Bellerin, on the other wing. THAT IS NOT SAYING MUCH AS Bellerin is also not suited to being a defender. NEITHER OF THEM ARE DEFENDERS AND THEIR INSTINCT IS TO GO FORWARD, WHICH BOTH DO WITH SKILL. Wenger should get in proper specialist defenders of quality to play there , not rely on young, talented but in no way suited to defending players to play out of position. Or rather he should HAVE DONE.It is now far too late and we just need Wenger out at all costs. WHY NOT FACE CLEAR FACTS ; AS OF RIGHT NOW , WITH KOS CHRONICALLY INJURED AND FAST REGRESSING , THERE IS NOT one single outfield player of quality at the club. THAT IS A DISGRACE.

      1. Midkemma says:

        To say neither of them are defenders just shows how little you watch Arsenal, anyone who watches the games knows the difference in Bellerin form when playing RB or RWB.

        AMN has shown great def capabilities, while he lacks experience, he has won the ball back numerous times and his ability to recover has been very impressive.

        AMN could become a great Def type B2B, he has the power and pace along with confidence in his tackling to win the ball back, something he has done a lot on the left.

        Seriously, just watch the kid before making judgment. He can defend.

        1. jon fox says:

          Midkemma, So I watch little football , you oddly say. I COULD HARDLY WATCH MORE THAN EVERYONE OF OURS, WHICH I DO!

  7. HA559 says:

    Defensively Maitland Niles is not good enough.

    Off topic, but Arsenal should bid for Moura of PSG. He would bolster the attack.

  8. SuperClaes says:

    Hope he doesn’t get to relaxed as others have in the past and stalled their promising careers!

    I too wasn’t convinced initially but he is definitely winning me over and looking forward seeing him in CM role one of these days. Also impressed with Willock and his calm appearance despite so young and lack of experience!

    If they will be good enough to play regularly for the Gunners? Well time will tell….

    Good luck to them as well as Nelson and Nkitiah!!!!!!

  9. ruelando says:

    When Niles was at Ipswich he played the same role but in the Bellerin position most of the time and did very well. Niles can only become a better player and will gradually move middle of the park.

  10. Arsenal4Life says:

    He is doing really wel at the moment but I think he would do better on the right side or in the middle alongside Wilshere. He is very quick and could use that in the middle. (if Wenger is not going to use Coquelin in the middle). Next one is Reiss Nelson

  11. Gelz says:

    I don’t really get this playing a player out of position just to hone his skills to play in a different position, play the guy in his natural position and he will learn his role much quicker as playing as a left back or wing back is not the same as playing cm. He has played many different positions for us from rb to RM to lwb and lb. I fear Wenger will end using him more as a utility playerthan giving him a permanent position

    1. Jon Fox says:

      Fortunately , all the signs point strongly towards Wenger being sacked in May when we finish no higher than 6th and loads of points behind 4th place. ROLL ON THAT DAY!

      1. Alkali says:

        Do you honestly think the board will sack wenger for finishing 6th? You will be in for a shocker.

        1. jon fox says:

          YES I DO, provided there is a decent gap between 4th and 6th in points. Which is already five points right now, with all our injuries and Liverpools huge ambition , new V V D and all the Coutino money to spend, which they will. BEFORE POSTING , I analyse the likely developing situation deeply. DO YOU?

  12. Kenny Rolfe says:

    Wonderful, Coventry knocking Stoke out the FA Cup. No, not because they beat, because every time we go to Stoke they disrespectfully boo us for 90 minutes. Now hopefully relegation.

    1. Kenny Rolfe says:

      Correction:Not because they beat us.

    2. Sue says:

      I was happy with that too Kenny! Hughes will be sacked in the morning!!

      1. Kenny Rolfe says:

        Gone already Sue, another good prediction

    3. Jon Fox says:

      I don’t know what you have got against Stoke , KENNY. unless you have been stealing from me, cos I own ALL THE THINGS ANYONE CAN EVER HAVE AGAINST STOKE. My voodoo doll of Hughes is thriving. Those pins run deep,. Apart from Wenger there is litle I detest more than Stoke.

      1. Kenny Rolfe says:

        Goes back to the days of Mike Pejic

        1. Jon Fox says:

          We will both remember when GEORGE EASTHAM PLAYED FOR Stoke and helped them win the LEAGUE CUP. I supported them that day, but only because of GEORGE. Just this moment heard that Hughes has been sacked. Hope the new man, whoever it be, can’t keep them up!

          1. Kenny Rolfe says:

            Waited about 3 months then signed him from Newcastle for £47,500, played his first game the following Saturday against Leicester City reserves in front of a crowd of over 11,000 and made his debut for the first team the following week against Bolton, beat them 5-1, George scored two goals. Great player. I know you remember all that Jon, just for the youngsters

          2. jon fox says:

            GREAT DAYS Kenny. Doubt if many kids have ever heard of GEORGE and few of them will know he was in the Englang ’66 WC squad. When I was young in late 5o’s and early 60’s I still knew most of those who played for us in the twenties and some from Dial Square days too. We oldies cared about the CLUB, not just the present TEAM (and posting on social media). I still know every manager who has ever managed us and relevant dates. My late Grandad was a regular at Woolwich and now into 5th generation of Gooners in my family. NOT BOASTING , JUST POINTING OUT WHAT WE REAL FANS ARE. AND WE WON NOTHING AT ALL FOR MY FIRST TWELVE YEARS, TIL 1970.

  13. Innit says:

    He isnt a LB or LWB. Why play him there? He isnt a RB either but at least he would be on the right and has some experience as a RB.

    Same with Oxlade. Oxlade was starting matches on the left as either LWB or LW. If he was starting matches on the wrong position he would have been excellent as a RW or CM. Also, if he was starting over Walcott, Iwobi, Welbeck then why sell him. He was one of our best Squad players if not our best squad player with potential to regular start matches. MONEY!!!! He needed to balance the summer spending of Lacazette. Walcott must be one of highest paid bench warmers in the Premier League

    Wenger plays players in wrong positioning innit

    1. Jon Fox says:

      OH! You noticed!

  14. Simon says:

    Even teams that are doing well in the PL are adding players, but Arsenal are still hoping for two players to sign while they had more than a year to renew their contracts didn’t, why are you waiting in 30 days when the transfer window closes.

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