When Will Arteta Give Maitland-Niles a Chance?

Admittedly, Hector Bellerin has been on a wonderful run of attacking form. His performances against Sheffield and Manchester United won us 3 points in those games. And he could have done even more had Saka converted the big chance he gave him late in the game against Leeds.

Bellerin’s inclusion has been justified and rewarding. But what about Maitland-Niles?

Niles can play as fullback and wingback on both flanks and can play very well in that specialized underlapping role that Bellerin is excelling in. And he has played to good effect for Arteta whenever he was called upon.

Maitland-Niles admitted a few weeks ago that Arteta had persuaded him to stay and fight for his place in the team. He told Goal: “There was a lot of speculation going around, but I chose to stay at the club I love,”

“I am happy with my decision and I am sure the manager is happy that I stayed as well.

“It was about the manager having faith in me and him letting me know what’s going on and the situation. He did that and everything was fine in the end.

“He just installed a lot of confidence in me that I had in myself, but maybe I didn’t know how to bring out. He has helped me do that. We work well as a team together and he knows how to get the best out of me, and now I am learning to get the best out of myself more regularly now. I can only thank him along the way and carry on the run of form we have had.”

So what gives? Maitland-Niles is a confident young lad who has already had a proper taste of first team football with both Arsenal and England’s squad. He won’t be satisfied with the bench for too long. He is too talented, too young, too good. And yet he can dislodge neither Tierney or Bellerin on current form.

Clearly enough, at the moment, his chances will come in cup competitions and if Tierney or Bellerin are injured or need rotation, he will be asked to fill.

This is the situation Niles has to be content with. For now.

Agboola Israel


  1. At a time when the lack of pace and energy in our midfield, is so glaringly obvious, particularly in the absence of Partey, I find it difficult to understand the reluctance of Arteta to include AMN in the starting eleven. While I am not a great fan of Bellerin, he has done well recently which is more than I can say for Xhaka and Ceballos who were overrun against Leeds even before the sending off of Pepe.Arteta is of course better placed and qualified to judge the strengths and weaknesses of MAN than any Fan and while I respect his authority, he would not be the only Manager who failed to see what to me is patently obvious.Sometimes Managers need to watch games from the stand to get a wider perspective of the performances of players on and off the ball .At dugout level it is difficult to get a clear picture of exactly what players are contributing to the game until they are on the ball..That said I would imagine Arteta and his assistants would review the entire game on video at some stage.In any event,AMN is fast approaching a situation where it becomes”now or never”.I really hope he is given a run of games to convince his Manager of his credentional.

      1. What more chances than Xhaka or Ceballos Dan?

        Have you already forgotten his form at the end of the season?

        I think he will be back in the fold soon, his “punishment” for speaking out of turn must soon be up!! 🙉🙈🙊

    1. Grandad, more of your usual wisdom and always so good and REASSURING to know that we still have people of intellect on here, as sometimes we have to wonder. Esp with all those very silly “Arteta out” posts from juvenile non thinkers.
      Like you and I presume many others, I find the reluctance to play AMN surprising, esp given that BELLERIN , whom I have never rated at all as a defender, plays regularly when fit.

      England have far better defenders than Arsenal have to choose from, yet AMN is now an England player. Something is badly wrong when AMN is left out, given his pace, mobility and versatility, for the likes of Bellerin and Xhaka. MAKES NO SENSE TO ME AT ALL!
      I also have never understood why ANY manager chooses to sit in the dugout at ground level, instead of higher in the stand using a phone to convey orders to his head coach. A panoramic view of play is a huge advantage over being at ground level!

  2. I feel bad for him, during the transfer window when they were bids for him around 25M and he had not yet made his mind up about staying or going MA played him in the FA Cup final and the community shield since then he has barely featured for us not only that we turned down 25M for a squad player money that could have used to get AOUAR too! Did he get played by our manager or am I reading too much into it?

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