Press conference

‘He’s becoming the player I think he can be’

Ainsley Maitland-Niles

While the result didn’t go our way on Sunday, there were still some positives to take from our defeat to Manchester United.

One was Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ performance in central midfield, and Arsène Wenger took the chance to praise the 20-year-old in his post-match press conference.

on Maitland-Niles and Dinos Mavropanos…
Ainsley Maitland-Niles is slowly becoming the player I think he can be in defensive midfield. He can create as well. Mavropanos, in training he has shown top quality but then you always have a question mark as long as you don’t see that under pressure in a big game. Until that, you don’t know. The big players do better in the competition than in training. They make a career, the others… we have many players at our level who do less well in competition than in training. That was the question mark and I think he did well. He surprised everybody by his quality today.

on his successor now believing there’s a lot of depth in this squad…
Look, my successor certainly will have watched this game today. Hopefully, he will come to positive conclusions for the players. For them, it’s whether they can be part of the future of Arsenal Football Club. I think some of them have shown today that they can be, 100 per cent. I would say, personally, 100 per cent.