The likes of Mesut Ozil, William Saliba, Nicolas Pepe among others have been part of squabbles with manager Mikel Arteta and it seems like homegrown talent Ainsley Maitland-Niles shares similar dissent.
The English Midfielder had publicly expressed his desire to leave the club after having fallen down the pecking order, amid heavy interest from the Toffees.
Back in August, Maitland-Niles took to Instagram and made a public plea essentially asking Arsenal to let him go. However, Arsenal pulled the plug on the move at the last minute, and following crunch talks with his gaffer, Maitland-Niles was forced to stay.
Despite whatever reassurances Arteta might have offered Niles in August, they certainly haven’t translated to reality considering the midfielder has only started twice in the Premier League this season for the Gunners.
One of these rare opportunities came in the form of a start against Watford in a 1-0 victory. Ainsley took it with a positive mindset and was one of the standout performers for the Gunners.
One would think Arteta would use the performance as an opportunity to build up momentum and get his midfielder back to full form.
Instead, he was kept on the bench during the next two games and dropped from the squad entirely for the 2-1 humiliation against Everton.
This has prompted Arsenal fans to chime in with their opinion on the issue as they question the Spaniard’s man-management skills on Twitter –
Since Maitland Niles man of the match v Watford he hasn’t played 1 minute..odd man management— Andrew Dear (@Andrewdear90) December 6, 2021
Also, how has Ainsley Maitland-Niles gone from MOTM against Watford to barely playing at all when Thomas Partey is in this kind of form?— Zach Lowy (@ZachLowy) December 6, 2021
I see no reason for Partey starting ahead of @MaitlandNiles now. At least AMN will show some intensity.— Arsene's Eyes 💙 (@Arsenes_Eyes) December 6, 2021
Maitland Niles wins Man of the match against Watford, next 4 games:— William (fan account) (@OzilThings) December 6, 2021
Liverpool (A) – 37 mins as sub
Newcastle (H) – benched
Man United (A) – benched
Everton (A) – left out of squad ❌
Is Arteta trying to say Maitland-Niles isn’t good enough to play games for Arsenal or what?— KELEWELE JOINT 🍟 (@ANKAMAGYIMI__) December 6, 2021
The boy started one game and was MOTM since then he hasn’t started a game again smh
Sambi Lokonga last start against Newcastle = MOTM— Wayne (@Irish_Gooner) December 6, 2021
Maitland Niles against Watford = MOTM
Yet we’re continuing with playing Thomas Partey who is not in form and giving Granit Xhaka a full 90 mins after his first game back from being 2 months out.
Make it make sense 🙃
Maitland Niles hasn’t played a SINGLE minute since his motm performance against Watford 😹😹 so weird— Renato (@rehnato) December 7, 2021