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'Hated it': £52,000-a-week Arsenal man must learn from what Chelsea player just said - Our View

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Due to his stubbornness, Arsenal’s Hale End Academy graduate Ainsley Maitland-Niles is causing serious damage to his career.

The 5-cap England international has frequently insisted that he’s a midfielder, rather than a right-back, as The Athletic have detailed.

However, Mikel Arteta – as well as other managers – have often played him on the right of defence.

As Transfermarkt shows, Maitland-Niles has played at right-back or right wing-back over 100 times throughout his career.

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Now, he finds himself out of favour at Arsenal, as Arteta clearly doesn’t agree with the £52,000-a-week man’s belief that he’s a midfielder.

Coincidentally, Reece James spoke to Chelsea’s official website on Wednesday, and revealed that he also hated playing at right-back.

However, the difference in attitude is telling.

James said: “When I first arrived at Chelsea, I was a striker but then moved to midfield for a couple of seasons.

“Then, when I was about 15, I found myself playing right-back because there were better players in midfield. I hated it for maybe two or three years and never wanted to play there!

“But one day it just clicked and I started loving it. I think the penny just dropped that I wouldn’t be playing midfield anymore and this was my new position.”

Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Now, Maitland-Niles must learn from this approach.

The 23-year-old must consider what’s more important. Having a long, fruitful career at the top-level as a right-back, or an underwhelming career at a lower level in his preferred position?

In our view, the latter cannot be an option.

Many players change position early on in their career, or even during the latter stages of it, and don’t have any problems.

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It’s about being a professional, listening to your manager and the coaches who have far more experience.

It’s also worth noting that Maitland-Niles is putting more pressure on himself to impress in midfield by insisting on playing there against Arteta’s beliefs.

If the 23-year-old doesn’t listen to James and change his attitude, he may pay for his stubbornness with his career.

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