Martin Keown has told BT Sport, during their live Europa League coverage, that Ainsley Maitland-Niles’s performance for Arsenal last night was so poor that he may never get another chance for Unai Emery’s side.
Arsenal won 3-2 against Vitoria yesterday, but Maitland-Niles was hooked off at half-time.
The youngster was guilty of giving away possession for the second goal which Arsenal conceded on the night, as he failed to protect a pass into him in midfield.
Emery was clearly disappointed with Maitland-Niles’s performance, as he came off at the break.
And Keown fears that Maitland-Niles may not get another chance at the Emirates Stadium.
“He looked like he was feeling sorry for himself, there’s no time for that,” the former Gunners defender said.
“Maitland-Niles is all at sea there, he should receive that ball on the back foot, but that’s a laziness and sloppiness.
“He has great ability, but he’s wasting his talent at the minute.
“His career is slipping away. You get a moment in time to by an Arsenal player. It may have gone for him, because the manager dragged him off at half-time. He may never get another opportunity.”
Maitland-Niles hasn’t really kicked on at the Emirates Stadium, despite being offered plenty of first-team chances.
In fairness to the academy graduate he isn’t a natural right-back, which is where he has played for much of his career at Arsenal, due to Emery’s side’s lack of options.
However, when he has been given opportunities in midfield like last night, he has not really staked his claim.
Arsenal are next in action against Crystal Palace at the weekend, and it now remains to be seen whether Maitland-Niles will be in the match day squad.
Have something to tell us about this article?