Interview

‘If I had that pace, I’d never stand still!'

He's rapidly establishing himself as an important member of our first-team squad, and Sead Kolasinac isn't surprised at Ainsley Maitland-Niles' promising performances.

Although his favoured position is in midfield, the England Under-20 international has started regularly on the left side of our defence in recent weeks, thanks in part to Kolasinac and Nacho Monreal suffering injuries.

"Ainsley’s done really well," Kolasinac told Arsenal Player. "He’s so quick and he reads the game well, so he knows what to do before the ball arrives. He’s shown that in the last couple of games.

"I’ve spoken to him. I told him that he’s so quick - if I had that pace, I’d never stand still, I’d just run! When you’re that quick, it’s difficult to stop someone. 

"He has the acceleration and when he gets going, he’s tough to defend against. That can be a weapon for us."

Kolasinac is enjoying an impressive first season in England, and he feels he's been aided by Monreal.

"Nacho is such an important player for us, also because of his personality," Kolasinac added. "Nacho talks to me a lot on the pitch, he helps and guides me and he gives me license to go forward, because I know I’ve got someone behind me who can cover. 

"He does that and that really helps whoever plays on the left flank."

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