Ainsley Maitland-Niles, is it the name of a city law firm, an MP of a leafy suburb or a writer of sophisticated crime novels?
No of course not, AMN is an almost 25 years old midfielder playing for the most fabulous club in the world. We all know him, we all believe in him and in a bizarre way we all love him, but when is Ainsley breaking through?
It feels like he is now well and truly in the last chance saloon. There’s an ideal spot for him: back up, or even better, competition for Thomas Partey.
His spell at Roma was uneventful and with well over 100 PL games under his belt now (albeit many as a sub) he should be having much more impact.
His strength seems also his weakness. Ainsley is calm on the outside which gives him maturity, but he also comes across as not bothered. It feels like AMN switches on and off during a game, something he cannot afford, especially not with duracell bunny Arteta on the sidelines.
Yet Ainsley has a good first touch, is a good passer and offers natural physicality to the game. He also reads the game well, is fast and has good stamina. So it is time to push through now, to make a claim for the right midfield spot, to show us all that the genie is finally out of the bottle! He should be our second beast in midfield… Should be..
Come on Ainsley, THIS IS YOUR MOMENT!!!