We reported on Wednesday that Arsenal agreed a new long-term deal for midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles who will see him wear the no.15 shirt in 2018/19 and supporters are delighted with the news.
The England u21 international said in his interview with Arsenal.com that he’s “very pleased” to extend his deal with the Londoners and “feels fantastic” to know he’ll be in the first-team next season.
“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.”
The 20-year-old rose through the youth ranks to the Arsenal first-team last season, making 15 Premier League appearances, and could play a more important role for the Gunners in 2018/19 as Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey have uncertain futures at the Emirates.
Arsenal fans pride themselves on their youth development and have seen the likes of Hector Bellerin, Maitland-Niles and Alex Iwobi make the successful. transition in recent years. They’re delighted to see another promising talent being tied down on a long-term contract and hope he reaches his potential.
Get in! pic.twitter.com/WsQdUoPEJu
— #MerciArsène (@hawt_red) June 12, 2018
Yes!! Top lad ?
— Tai ?? (@Sir_teey) June 12, 2018
Has so much potential. Can’t wait to see how he does !
— A W (@gunningforafc) June 12, 2018
— Callum Legg (@CLegg_24) June 12, 2018
I hope he gets more gametime this season. Quality youngster ???
— Dmortal (@Ischax) June 12, 2018
— Rob (@arsenal_rob) June 12, 2018
— Ben Smith (@bensmith88) June 12, 2018
Maitland-Niles is a versatile player, operating on both flanks as a full-back, wing-back and winger, but his best position is in midfield. He’s composed in possession and happy to receive the ball when under pressure from the opposition, so new manager Unai Emery may have inherited a gem.
Stats from Transfermarkt.