Ainsley Maitland-Niles now looking ahead at Arsenal months after public transfer plea

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3-min read
Ainsley Maitland-Niles now looking ahead at Arsenal months after public transfer plea
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles says the drama surrounding his Arsenal future during the summer is “in the past” and he is relishing being back on the pitch.

The midfielder took to social media in August to try and force through a loan move to Everton, writing on Instagram: “All I wanna do is go where I’m wanted and where I’m gonna play”.

Maitland-Niles tagged Arsenal’s official Instagram account in the story post, while his words were accompanied by three crying emojis.

The 24-year-old ended up staying at Arsenal after they rejected Everton’s approach and he has since been handed chances to shine.

Maitland-Niles started yesterday’s 1-0 win over Watford and he has now made 10 appearances for Arsenal this season.

“That’s all in the past now,” said Maitland-Niles, when speaking about what happened in the summer.

“I am just thinking about the future and what’s ahead of me. It was great to be out there today, getting my minutes, and hopefully there is more to come.

“Yeah [I’m] always happy to be on the pitch and play, it’s a good feeling. Of course I’m looking for more minutes, I just need to keep my head down and keep going and working hard.”

Maitland-Niles was given the chance to start yesterday due to Thomas Partey being out with a groin issue. Arsenal were today assessing the midfielder before deciding if he will link up with Ghana over the international break.

The Gunners were made to work hard for their three points against Watford and they had two goals ruled out for offside, while captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also missed a penalty.

In the end, Emile Smith Rowe scored the winning goal early in the second-half as Arsenal extend their unbeaten run to 10 games.

Emile Smith Rowe celebrates scoring for Arsenal against Watford (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
Emile Smith Rowe celebrates scoring for Arsenal against Watford (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

The 21-year-old, who narrowly missed out on a call-up to the England squad last week, has now scored in each of his last three Premier League games.

“Gareth [Southgate] made the call, he knows Emile really well, and I’m sure he’s got a plan for him,” said Mikel Arteta.

“It’s very important in football to be patient, and go step by step. When you make that step, reinforce it and make sure it’s a secure and safe step before you make your next move.”

Watford were frustrated by the manner of Arsenal’s winner as it came after Danny Rose had put the ball out due to midfielder Ozan Tufan being down injured.

Arsenal did not give the ball back and ultimately scored from the throw-in, while Watford also felt Ismaila Sarr was fouled by Maitland-Niles in the build-up to Smith Rowe’s goal too.

“We put the ball out and everybody expected them to give us the ball back,” said Claudio Ranieri. “There was no respect in this action. Then we got the ball and we were on the counter-attack with Sarr and it’s a big foul.

“But it’s okay, this is football. Of course we aren’t happy with the result overall but this performance is building good foundations going forward.”

Read More

Claudio Ranieri accuses Arsenal of lacking ‘respect’ in touchline dispute with Arteta after Smith Rowe goal

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta confirms Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to retain penalty duties despite latest miss

Arsenal midfielder Emile Smith Rowe has come of age and is becoming impossible for England to ignore

Arsenal 1-0 Watford: Emile Smith Rowe finds a way on Mikel Arteta’s 100th game in charge

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting