Having just signed a new long-term contract with the club, and been given a new number, Ainsley Maitland-Niles is a happy young man right now.
The 20 year old has secured his Arsenal future, and the fact his deal has come under the auspices of new boss Unai Emery suggests the Spaniard has got real plans for him in the years to come.
We had an inkling of that when chief executive Ivan Gazidis said that Emery had provided detailed info about the versatile midfielder during the recruitment process and that, along with a new contract, has given Maitland-Niles a real boost.
“You don’t really hear a lot of young players being shouted out by their managers, especially a new manager who hasn’t really seen them play too much,” he said in an interview with the official website.
“I think it’s brilliant to hear from him and it gives me a load of confidence.”
And the new number 15 said he’d sat down briefly with his new manager and believes he can fit into the high pressing style we’re likely to play next season.
“I think it suits me a lot,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of pace to give to the team, pressing up high and winning the ball back as soon as possible is a major factor in football.
“We had a little meeting. He said that he wants all of his players to work hard and I’m no stranger to doing that.
“It will be second nature to me.”