2 – Ainsley Maitland-Niles Extension
Emery clearly views Maitland-Niles as a key part of the team and that excites me. When A new man arrived I was worried what he might make of certain players I like, you never know, but he clearly sees the potential in Ainsley. On signing a new contract the player said the following:
“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,” Maitland-Niles told Arsenal Player. “I think it’s brilliant to hear from him and it gives me a load of confidence.
“It feels fantastic knowing that I’m going to be a part of the squad, and a big part of the squad. It means a lot with the new head coach coming in and Arsenal tying me down [with a new contract]. I’m very pleased.
“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.
“I think [the high-pressing game] suits me a lot, too. 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.”
It’s good to hear that Ainsley wants to play with this style and I hope that Emery intends to use him further up the pitch, either as a winger or in central midfield. With Lichtsteiner coming in we no longer need him to play as a right back (out of position) and we can hopefully see him continue to develop. If we signed Ainsley from another club we’d all be very excited about it, so for that reason, I’m rating this extension as 10/10 – we all love a homegrown success story, HE’S ONE OF OUR OWN!