Arsenal got their 2019/20 campaign off to a flyer at the weekend with a 1-0 win over Newcastle United at St James’ Park.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the only goal of the contest in the second half to ensure a winning start for boss Unai Emery.
Having spent a healthy amount of money on recruitment this summer there really is no excuse for Emery in the quest to reach the Champions League.
Dani Ceballos, Nicolas Pepe, Kieran Tierney and David Luiz all arrived at the club and once they click Arsenal should do well this season.
On Sunday it was Ainsley Maitland-Niles who caught the eye.
The 21-year-old was handed the task of deputising for Hector Bellerin, who isn’t quite ready following his knee injury just yet.
Given Maitland-Niles’ contribution at Newcastle, the £110,000-a-weel performer (Spotrac) could have a fight on his hands to win his place back.
The defender was impressive at both ends of the pitch and even claimed the assist for Aubameyang’s winning goal.
Maitland-Niles has risen through the ranks at the Emirates Stadium and does actually have 69 first-team appearances to his name.
The time could be now for him to really make a mark on the team, however. This season could be the season when he holds down a regular place in Emery’s team and really shows his potential.
Consistency is key in a top-six Premier League team. If the youngster can get his head down and continue to impress, he could be Arsenal’s regular right-back this season.
The first game can often prove telling when it comes to team selection and with Emery not signing a right-back, the shirt now looks like being Maitland-Niles’ to lose.