Ainsley Maitland-Niles shone in last night’s 5-0 win over Southampton in the FA Cup, but 19 year old was modest afterwards when discussing his performance.
Played in his favoured central-midfield role, alongside Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, he was hugely effective, and his display was mature beyond his years. His defensive work in particular was very impressive.
Speaking after the game, he said he’d been congratulated by his teammates, and on that basis he said he must have played well.
“All the boys said congratulations and well done so I’m guessing I played well,” he said.
“I feel that I played well as well, so I’m happy with my performance. I prefer to play centre mid than right back, but I’m happy to do a job for the team.
“You’re just in the centre of everything and most of it was going through me today, so I just like to be involved in the play really.”
He also drew some praise from Arsene Wenger, who said, “We saw some young players in midfield who, in my opinion, have done very well.”
The double-barrelled trio of Oxlade-Maitland-Reine-Niles-Adelaide-Chamberlain probably won’t be first pick very often, but they did us proud last night.