Arsenal ace reveals what Unai Emery told him before signing new contract as new shirt number is also confirmed

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Arsenal starlet Ainsley Maitland-Niles has put pen-to-paper on a new long-term deal with his boyhood club and has given an insight into talks with new head coach, Unai Emery, according to the club’s official website.

The Hale End academy graduate was a shining light in disappointing season for the Gunners last term as he broke into the first-team and produced a number of impressive displays in different positions.

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Former manager Arsene Wenger has often spoken in the past that he sees the youngster fulfilling his undoubted potential in the middle of the park, however, he still impressed at full-back and wing-back for the north London outfit.

Emery is said to be an admirer of the youngster and he produced an extensive and thorough dossier of a number of players, including Maitland-Niles, which was said to have greatly impressed CEO, Ivan Gazidis.

And the Arsenal academy graduate can’t wait to get started under Emery’s guidance and was buoyant ahead of pre-season.

He also gave an insight into Emery’s thinking and tactics which will require hard graft.

Speaking to the club’s website he said: “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, 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.”

Maitland-Niles will also don the No.15 previously worn by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain which indicates Emery may see him have a more prominent role within Arsenal’s first-team next season in the Premier League.

Last year he wore the No.30 shirt.

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