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Mikel Arteta reveals how Ainsley Maitland-Niles has reacted to having Arsenal exit blocked


Mikel Arteta has held clear-the-air talks with Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Picture: Getty)

Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta believes the situation with Ainsley Maitland-Niles is now resolved following clear-the-air talks and wants the player to be part of his squad this season. 

Maitland-Niles had a move to Everton blocked on deadline day, before posting a message on his Instagram which said: ‘All I wanna do is go where I’m wanted and where I’m gonna play.’

The versatile Englishman, who can play as a wing back or in central midfield, spent the second half of last season on loan at relegated West Brom and has only featured once for the north London club so far this term.

Arteta has confirmed that since the end of the window he has sat down with Maitland-Niles to speak about any issues and is hopeful both parties can now move on together. 

‘Any private conversation with players, what we believe the role they have in the team, is always resolved privately. That one is resolved,’ he said.

‘I am happy that he has stayed, it was our intention and he’s another player in the squad.

Maitland-Niles wanted to leave Arsenal this summer (Picture: Getty)

‘He knows that he has a unique quality in any squad, which is his versatility to play in different positions.’

Despite many fans calling for Maitland-Niles to be played at right back this season, former Gunners goalkeeper David Seaman believes his qualities are best used in another position.

‘The thing with Maitland-Niles is that he’s not a right back, I saw him when they first put him as a right back, but his positional sense is all over the place. With the ball he’s brilliant, but he’s a right-sided midfield player isn’t he,’ he said on the Seaman Says Podcast.

Arsenal, who have started the season with three consecutive Premier League defeats, are bolstered by the returns of Gabriel Magalhaes, Ben White, Eddie Nketiah and Thomas Partey for the game against newly-promoted Norwich on Saturday.


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