Arsenal star Ainsley Maitland-Niles has explained how he ended up staying at the club this summer after talks with manager Mikel Arteta.
The Gunners will be glad to have kept the versatile 23-year-old, who has shown himself to be an important member of Arteta’s squad in recent times, with some big-game performances in last season’s victorious FA Cup fun.
Maitland-Niles’ fine form saw him targeted by Barcelona in the summer, according to Fabrizio Romano on his podcast, though the reporter stated that Arteta had a key role in keeping the England international at the Emirates Stadium.
Speaking about his situation now, Maitland-Niles seemed to hint that was the case, as he spoke of his talks with Arteta and how clear it seemed that the Spanish tactician had a lot of faith in him.
“There was a lot of speculation going around, but I chose to stay at the club I love,” Maitland-Niles was quoted by the Metro.
“I am happy with my decision and I am sure the manager is happy that I stayed as well.
“It was about the manager having faith in me and him letting me know what’s going on and the situation. He did that and everything was fine in the end.
“He just installed a lot of confidence in me that I had in myself, but maybe I didn’t know how to bring out. He has helped me do that.
“We work well as a team together and he knows how to get the best out of me, and now I am learning to get the best out of myself more regularly now.
“I can only thank him along the way and carry on the run of form we have had.”
Maitland-Niles could have been a useful signing for Barcelona, as he’s shown he has the versatility and intelligence to his game to make him a key performer for any top team.