The best managers have always managed to spot something in a player that others haven’t, whether that’s their ability to play in a different position or even just their general talent.
It looks like money will be tighter than usual at Arsenal for a while, so Mikel Arteta might need to find solutions within his existing squad.
They’ve gone without a top class holding midfielder for too long, and neither Granit Xhaka or Lucas Torreira have shown that they are able to take on that role.
A report from The Mirror has suggested that Ainsley Maitland-Niles played at the base of the midfield in a recent friendly against Charlton, and it sounds like he was very impressive.
He’s always had that problem where he’s so versatile that he gets moved around the field and doesn’t manage to nail down a regular starting spot, so this could be ideal for him if he keeps impressing.
They actually claim that he wants to play in the centre of midfield, so it will be interesting to see if he gets some chances to prove himself in competitive action.
According to the report, he started alongside Matteo Guendouzi at the base of the midfield against Charlton, and he was impressive with his ability to break forward but also showed a willingness and the discipline to get back into shape when needed.
It’s likely that the fans will want an experienced head in there to sit and provide a solid base for the rest of the team to play, but if that’s not possible, then perhaps Maitland-Niles could solve that problem position.