'Very rare to find': Arteta says Arsenal have a talent in their ranks who's 'unique'
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has waxed lyrical about Gunners ace Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
The Arsenal manager believes the situation with the 24-year-old is now resolved following clear-the-air talks.
Maitland-Niles reportedly had a loan switch to Everton blocked on transfer deadline day.
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.”
Maitland-Niles has struggled for game time at Arsenal in recent months and spent the second half of last season on loan at West Brom.
Arteta has confirmed that he held talks with the player and is sure both parties can now move on together.
The Spaniard also praised Maitland-Niles’ “unique” versatility, able to play at wing-back and in central midfield.
“The response is after the conversation that we had privately to explain and to put on the table our feelings, what we have to do or decide something different to what we decided a few months ago when we allowed him to go to West Brom,” he told the Arsenal media team.
“He has embraced the opportunity, the chance he knows that he has a unique quality in sport.
“His versatility to play in many positions and he needs to become the best at doing that as it’s something very rare to find in football.”
Could Arsenal start Maitland-Niles on Saturday?
Maitland-Niles will surely fancy his chances of starting on Saturday when Arsenal host Norwich at the Emirates.
Mohamed Elneny is nursing an injury and Granit Xhaka is serving a suspension.
Meanwhile, Albert Sambi Lokonga picked up a knock while on Belgium duty.
Although Sambi Lokonga should be fine, Arteta has to make a decision.
If he opts not to risk the 21-year-old, he could go for a double pivot of Maitland-Niles and Thomas Partey.
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