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Arteta hints at regular game time for £48k-a-week Arsenal man who Keown called a 'Rolls Royce'

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has dropped a big hint that Ainsley Maitland-Niles could become a regular in the Gunners XI.

The 24-year-old looked to be on the verge of leaving the Emirates Stadium late in the summer transfer window.

Maitland-Niles reportedly had a loan switch to Everton blocked on transfer deadline day.

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He subsequently posted a message on his Instagram which said: “All I wanna do is go where I’m wanted and where I’m gonna play.”

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Maitland-Niles previously struggled for game time at Arsenal and spent the second half of last season on loan at West Brom.

However, Arteta held clear-the-air talks with the player, and he stayed put at the Emirates.

This season, Maitland-Niles has made six appearances in all competitions, including four in the Premier League, of which one was a start.

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Now, with Granit Xhaka out for up to three months, Maitland-Niles could be in line for more game time.

On Thursday, asked Arteta whether the Hale End graduate could be a player to step in, and he replied: “He’s certainly one.”

Maitland-Niles, who Martin Keown deemed a “Rolls Royce of a player” last year, has made 127 appearances for Arsenal in all competitions.

His contract, reportedly worth £48.000-a-week, expires in the summer of 2023.

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