The Premier League season gets underway on Sunday for Arsenal when they host Manchester City in their opener. The game will be an interesting one for The Gunners, who will be without starting left-back, Sead Kolasinac for the game. In the Bosnian’s absence, the fans have been calling for Ainsley Maitland-Niles to step in and deputise at left-back.
Sead Kolasinac –
So who will play left back in our @PremierLeague opener?
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) 10 August 2018
Ainsley Maitland-Niles is one of the best young players at Arsenal. The 20-year-old midfielder has shown incredible maturity for his age, being deployed in central midfielder, on both wings and at full-back under Arsene Wenger. He could now be set to kick-off his career under Unai Emery at left-back. However, Emery has plenty of different systems he could use and could avoid playing his young midfielder out of position.
If Maitland-Niles does play at left-back he could be left in a tough position. Manchester City will be using either Raheem Sterling or Riyad Mahrez on the right flank and that could spell danger for the 20-year-old. If the Arsenal no 15 can step up to the task on Sunday then it could give Emery some headaches over who the club’s first choice left-back should be. Nacho Monreal can be used as a centre-back in a back three and it wouldn’t be a shock to see Maitland-Niles used in a more defensive position in future if he succeeds.
You can read the Gunners’ verdict on Maitland-Niles here:
AMN aka Birds Catcher
— x (@lacazs) August 10, 2018
Ainsley Maitland Niles
— ben (@KeyZowBR) August 10, 2018
Our Swiss Army Knife pic.twitter.com/u0gL7so82Z
— BENJI (@FutbolBenji) August 10, 2018
I’m guessing Maitland-Niles!
— Chris Hannah (@chrishannah) 10 August 2018
Niles can do that.
— mohamed abdirizak (@mohasnaj) August 10, 2018
— Mâtthęŵ (@SeadTheSaviour) 10 August 2018
— Markus Nurmi (@Makezor) August 10, 2018
The tweets above make it clear that the fans want to see Maitland-Niles on Sunday, and they could well be given what they want when the line-ups are announced for the clash.