Despite having significantly less game time than the likes of Sead Kolasinac and Hector Bellerin this season, Ainsley Maitland-Niles has still managed to put in more successful crosses than both.
Maitland-Niles was one of Arsenal’s best players against West Ham on Wednesday. This may not mean much since most of Arsene Wenger’s men were half asleep but the 20-year-old really was excellent.
Interestingly, despite only featuring twice in the Premier League this season, which is far less than Bellerin and Kolasinac, Maitland-Niles has made four successful crosses. When you compare this to Kolasinac, who’s made two, and Bellerin who’s made three, you get an idea of how much of a shift the youngster puts in when he’s playing for the first team.
He’s got less experience than Bellerin but his distribution, particularly this season, has been far superior to the Spaniard’s.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles (4) has more successful crosses than Hector Bellerin (3) and Sead Kolasinac (2) in the Premier League, despite playing 15 games fewer than Bellerin and 13 fewer than Kolasinac. pic.twitter.com/w6nNpDau9l
— Chris Wheatley (@ChrisWheatley_) December 14, 2017
The England u21 international also completed a dribbles and won four defensive duels against the Hammers.
Maitland-Niles still has a long way to go before he gets a regular place in Arsenal’s Premier League starting XI but the signs are all there and his performances this season have been encouraging.
Let’s hope the 20-year-old continues to get game time and make huge leaps in his progress.