What suddenly happened to Ainsley Maitland-Niles?

For the most part of last season and early this season, Hector Bellerin had been on the injury list. Bellerin was in top form last season but unfortunately went down injured. He has since struggled with wriggling injuries, even after returning from the muscle tear he sustained that forced a long lay off.

In Hector Bellerin's absence, Arsenal had no natural Right back backup, there was only one other man capable of filling in competently for the Spanish defender, Ainsley Maitland-Niles. Maitland-Niles filled in capably for Bellerin, even sparking talks of a possible overthrow to become first choice Right Back even when Bellerin returns. Bellerin after all seized a similar opportunity to overthrow Matteo Debuchy some years back.

Hector Bellerin's return to full fitness would coincide with the appointment of Mikel Arteta and Maitland-Niles seemingly became a forgotten man. Niles has not started a game under Mikel Arteta so far, fifteen(15) matches into his tenure. What's even more puzzling is that on occasions where Bellerin is deemed in need of rest, Greek centre back, Sokrats is called upon at Right Back instead of Niles as was the case.

There's clearly something behind the scenes, many have been led to believe that there was a fall out between the coach and player. The highly reliable David Orstein of 'The Athletic' however reported sometime ago that Ainsley Maitland-Niles had told Arteta that he no longer wanted to continue at Right back and wants to return to his natural position, which on its own is another mystery. Mikel Arteta was not happy with such Attitude and decided to stop deploying him there.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles had been a key player for the team, an absolutely versatile player who has filled in many positions, he quite rightly deserves a shot at where ever he feels is his natural position and Mikel Arteta would do well to give him a chance.

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