The light went out on Arsenal’s 2018/19 campaign with a whimper in Baku, with the Gunners suffering a thrashing at the hands of Chelsea.
Unai Emery’s team were second best in the second half of the Europa League Final, succumbing to a 4-1 defeat against Maurizio Sarri’s rampant team.
For some of the current squad, the light may have gone out on their Arsenal careers after last night too. Several members of the team let Emery and the supporters down and a long summer lies ahead for the manager.
One of those underperforming players on a miserable night for the Gunners was Ainsley Maitland-Niles. The 21-year-old has been a regular towards the late stages of the Europa League but he timed his worst performance in the competitions poorly.
The youngster’s showing last night might have told Emery a lot. Not least, it may have suggested that he isn’t ready for a regular place in the Arsenal team next season.
Maitland-Niles would be best served using a fellow academy graduate as inspiration.
Reiss Nelson has spent the 2018/19 campaign on loan at Hoffenheim. He hasn’t been a regular in the team by any means but he has netted eight goals and registered one assist.
Featuring regularly in matchday squads and scoring a few goals along the way will have done his confidence the world of good. He may well return to the Emirates next season and earn a chance to shine in Emery’s team.
Maitland-Niles needs that regular football feeling and he should perhaps instigate a loan move away from the club if he isn’t going to play regularly under Emery.