Arsenal utility player Maitland-Niles has showered a lot of praise on manager Mikel Arteta ahead of the club’s UEFA Europa league opener against Rapid Vienna.
The 23-year-old defender/midfielder who has been at the North London club since the age of Seven, He was linked with a move away from the Emirates stadium all through the summer but ended up staying at his boy hood club despite having a lot of suitors.
Niles was on the pre match interview with the club’s manager ahead of today’s game against Austrian side Rapid Vienna and has to say about his manager Mikel Arteta “He just installed a lot of confidence in me that I had in myself, but maybe I didn’t know how to bring it out.
“He has helped me do that. We work well as a team together & he knows how to get the best out of me. There was never a rocky relationship between us. It was just he demanded more from me than I was demanding from myself. He told me that & I had work to do to get back into the team. That’s as simple as it was.”
On speculations linking him with a move away from Arsenal: He said “There was a lot of speculation going around about that, but ultimately I chose to stay at the club which I love. I am happy with my decision & I am sure the manager is happy that I stayed as well. It is just about cracking on now. I just had my head focused on football & just trying to play well, keep myself healthy. When I get my time on the pitch, I just do what the manager asks me to do. I wasn’t really focused on any of the speculation going on. Of course the manager can always see different things than a player can see because he is looking at it from a different angle. He’s got different feelings & emotions to what I feel at the time. It is a good job that I did listen. It is all paying off now.”
Maitland-Niles came through Arsenal’s Hale End academy and made his first team debut in 2014 against Galatasary in UEFA champions league at the age of 17. He has made a total 56 appearances for the club and recently won his first international cap with England on September 8 2020 against Denmark.