Blog: Arsenal’s Top Three Performers Of The Season So Far


3 – Ainsley Maitland-Niles

Now I know this might not be the name you were expecting to complete this trio but for me, Maitland-Niles has summed up what it means to play for Arsenal.

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Having been a part of the club since the age of six, the midfielder has the makings of a future Arsenal first-team regular despite only just coming into contention.

This is where the Europa League has helped so many of our players build their experience and as a result the Englishman has already more than tripled the amount of appearances he made last season.

Wenger has used him just about everywhere so far, whether it be to cover Monreal’s left wing, sure up the defensive midfield in the last 10 minutes or provide some competition for Hector Bellerin at right-back.

For a 20-year-old the fact he’s already making a lot of our regulars think twice about their spot in the starting XI week after week, and that’s where I think Wenger is brilliant at integrating youth players.

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We’ve seen it with Iwobi, Wilshere, Gibbs and now Maitland-Niles, who may seem like a bit of a slow burner but fans are really beginning to open up to his potential with the longer he plays.

He held his own against some of the Premier League heavyweights this season and isn’t afraid to try something and look foolish, because he will always do the work at the other end to put his mistake right.

I think this season has showed a lot of us that he’s not just a flash in the pan, latest prospect kind’ve player and he does actually have a serious amount of credibility when it comes to the first team.

If I were the likes of Bellerin or Kolasinac, I’d be looking over my shoulder because this kid is Arsenal through and through, so he won’t be stopping until he’s cemented his place!

Agree with what I’ve been saying or think I’m completely wrong? Let me know by commenting below or get in touch on Twitter via @Curt_goff. Make sure you’re following Fresh Arsenal too!