Wenger backing for ‘interesting’ Maitland-Niles

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Arsene Wenger says he was impressed by the performance of Ainsley Maitland-Niles against Nottingham Forest in the third round of the EFL Cup.

The 19-year-old, who usually operates as a midfielder, was given the nod to play at right-back ahead of the experienced Mathieu Debuchy and didn’t disappoint as the Gunners ran out comfortable 4-0 winners.

Speaking ahead of Arsenal’s next clash in the competition, against Championship side Reading, the boss noted that his latest young prospect has both the physical and technical qualities to succeed at the top of the game.

“He’s an interesting prospect because he does not have an imposing frame, but he’s mobile, he’s quick and he’s sharp technically,” the manager told Arsenal Player.

“He has a good eye, he can win the ball and he has the speed to fly into people and get the ball out of their feet. That’s a very interesting quality that you do not find often.

“He did extremely well at Nottingham Forest as a right-back, but maybe his best position is as a defensive midfielder at the moment.”

Maitland-Niles is expected to be one of a number of young players in the squad for tonight’s game at the Emirates, however, with the return to fitness of Carl Jenkinson – back from nine months out with an ACL injury – it seems likely he’ll start on the bench.

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Mein Bergkampf
Mein Bergkampf

Excellent news that the corporal is back. He may devide supporters in terms of his talent and aptitude but it’s amazing to have someone on the field who adores the shirt and, if nothing else, will always give absolutely everything. Every squad needs a Carl Jenkinson.

Arsenal Pakistan!
Arsenal Pakistan!

Can’t he play as a dm then with elneny so ox can play on the wings and iwobi can rest? Also today’s match will be shown on bein sports 2 France, blogs! A match is not complete without having a liveblog on here

Goongot
Goongot

Going by the description.. He seems to be in bellerin’s mould

Savage
Savage

Or Coquelin? Speed into the tackle is certainly a Coquelin feature.

UGooner
UGooner

Two Coqs? Hmmm… No choice now… Up The Arse! Hihi

Campbell's forehead
Campbell's forehead

Would like to see him start alongside Elnenly in midfield to give The Coq a rest. He has just come back from injury and it’s usually in these minor games that one of our key players gets a long term injury.

Savage
Savage

Debuchy must have really pissed Wenger off…

For a man who preaches loyalty so heavily, he must hate it when his players don’t show the same.

Mike
Mike

For all the people who got worked up over Gazidis’ million pound bonus: Debuchy received about four times that much.

Le Jim
Le Jim

I really can’t wait for his mum to start a pitch invasion if there’s a bad refereeing decision, or we sub him too early ?

Billy

Debuchy!!! I see him leaving.

RSAGooner
RSAGooner

I’m haaaating…

Tom Gun
Tom Gun

After these words from Arsene, I’m expecting to see this team tonight:

Martinez
Jenkinson Holding Gabriel Gibbs (c)
Maitland-Niles Elneny
Jeff Ox Iwobi
Lucas

Giroud off the bench, Jenko to be subbed after 60 with Maitland-Niles going to RB and either Coquelin or a more attacking player coming on depending on the score. 3rd sub I would love to see Willock given a chance to show what he can do.

Thoughts?

bob davis

With that line-up, I think we’ll win!

James
James

You got that right! ✌?

Teryima Adi
Teryima Adi

Sounds interesting to me- your probable lineup.

SDDutchGooner
SDDutchGooner

I’m from the future and that was an amazing prediction!

TH14
TH14

Average age of this team will be around 21/22, we got some depth now in our squad. Feeling very excited..