Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has hinted that Ainsley Maitland-Niles may have won him over by improving one key area of his game.
The 22-year-old has had his ups and downs in the Gunners’ first-team, but put in a superb display after being given a start by Arteta in last night’s 2-0 FA Cup semi-final win over Manchester City.
Arsenal fans will be delighted with the team’s performance, and many will also no doubt be relieved that Maitland-Niles has shown some significant improvement.
It had previously been reported by The Athletic that Maitland-Niles’ Arsenal future had come into doubt due to falling out of favour and having perhaps shown some issues with discipline by arriving late to training.
Speaking after yesterday’s game, however, Arteta made a point of praising the England Under-21 international for changing his mindset, so it could be that the Spanish tactician has seen a big improvement in him in that respect that could now save his career at the Emirates Stadium.
Asked if he was pleased with Maitland-Niles’ performance, Arteta said, as quoted by the Metro: “Absolutely, he was magnificent.
“And I was sure about that with the way he’s training, the way he’s changed his mentality and his mindset.”