Arsene Wenger has hailed Ainsley Maitland-Niles as a big part of Arsenal’s future after another impressive performance from the youngster today.
The 20 year old, making just his second Premier League start, was asked to play at left-back again and not only did he defend well, he contributed in the final third too.
One particular run and shot was a rare moment of excitement and invention in a game that had little to get fans off their feet apart from Mesut Ozil’s amazing goal (view here).
Speaking after the game, the Arsenal manager was happy to sing the praises Maitland-Niles.
“I believe he is the future,” he said.
“He can play left-back, right-back, midfield. Of the three positions maybe the less natural for him is left-back but he adapts very quickly and is a good defender, you know?
“He has that sense in the the one against one he is very strong. He is a good defender, one against one. He has very quick recovery runs.
“He has some aspects to learn on his experience. He has to work on his heading but overall what he has done over the last three days is positive.”
It begs the question, if he’s so highly rated and playing so well in a position which is not his natural one, why not give him a go in midfield where we do have issues at the moment and where Wenger says is his best position?
Or is that too much like common sense?