Ainsley Maitland-Niles has done a good job playing out of his preferred position. He has been a good deputy both at right-back and left-back that most people even forget that he is a natural midfielder, who is just trying to be a man for the team, by playing to his best in positions not comfortable for him. Over the years, the English born footballer has always told the world that he is more comfortable playing in the midfield.
Born in Goodmayes, London, Maitland-Niles joined the club at the age of six, and made his Arsenal debut in December 2014. Maitland-Niles made his professional debut at the age of 17 in a UEFA Champions League match against Galatasaray, replacing Aaron Ramsey at half time in an eventual 4–1 win for Arsenal. Six years later, he is still trying to find a regular spot in the team.
Over the past couple of seasons Niles, who actually trained to be a midfielder, has found himself playing as a wing back. His defensive mistakes have let Arsenal down many times in the past; mistakes that the fans always capitalize on, whenever his game is analyzed. While analyzing his mistakes, most fans forget that Niles is just a player being forced to play out of his preferred position and he is doing all he can to master that position. Should he keep on playing in defence when he is actually built to play in the middle of the pitch? Won’t it be wise to allow him play in the midfield now that Arsenal seems to have enough defensive cover for virtually all the defensive positions?
Thank goodness Arsenal brought in a left back last summer and brought in a right back and a central defender during the winter transfer window. Bringing this players will give the coach the option of pushing Niles forward and allowing him show us what he can do in the middle. With his energetic style of play and his work rate, I believe he will do well in the middle of the pack. If however he doesn’t do well, maybe he should be shipped out of the club next summer. We are Arsenal and we are proud.