Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has lavished praise on Ainsley Maitland-Niles following his display against Watford on Sunday afternoon.
The versatile Englishman was a surprise starter against the Hornets, with Thomas Partey ruled out on the day of the game due to a muscular injury.
Maitland-Niles produced an assured display in the middle of the park with six ground duels won, five tackles and an 85% pass accuracy, and Arteta was impressed by what he saw from the former wantaway midfielder.
Speaking to the press after the game, Arteta said: “I see a different player in terms of his urgency, his commitment. We made a decision that we wanted him to stay because he was going to be useful.
“He has a huge talent where he’s versatile enough to adapt to almost any position on the pitch,” football.london quotes Arteta as saying.
Maitland-Niles was widely expected to leave the club in the summer and made his frustrations clear on social media, with his existing deal due to expire in 2023.