Mikel Arteta names the Arsenal player who is really ‘unique’… and he almost left


Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has raved about Ainsley Maitland-Niles and is pleased that he did not join Everton, as quoted in Football.London.

Arteta has praised the versatility of Maitland-Niles, and believes that the Arsenal 24-year-old is unique.

The Arsenal boss is also pleased that the England international remains part of his squad and did not join Everton in the summer transfer window.

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The Athletic reported in August that Arsenal had turned down an approach from the Toffees for the former West Bromwich Albion loanee, who himself wanted to move to Goodison Park and made it public on Instagram.

What Mikel Arteta has said

Arteta told Football.London: “Any private conversation with players, what we believe the role they can have in the team is always discussed openly – but privately.

“That’s always the way we resolve matters and that’s the way that one was resolved. I am happy that he stays, it was our intention and he’s another player in the squad.”

The Arsenal boss added: “The response after having our private conversation to explain and put on the table our feelings, what we have to do or decide something different when we let him go to West Brom.

“He has embraced the opportunity, he knows he has a unique quality in any squad which is his versatility to play in many different positions. He needs to become the best at doing that because it’s something very rare to find in football.”

Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Making an impact

Arsenal do rate Maitland-Niles. Otherwise, the Gunners would have let the 24-year-old leave for Everton in the summer transfer window.

The Englishman can play in midfield and as a full-back.

This means that the 24-year-old gives Arsenal manager Arteta options.

Arteta now publicly praising Maitland-Niles shows how highly he rates the 24-year-old, who should make the most of the chances he will get at Arsenal and show everyone what he is capable of.

Maitland-Niles has scored one goal in 80 appearances in the Premier League so far in his career and does have a long-term future at Arsenal.

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