Ainsley Maitland-Niles was very impressive against Chelsea on Wednesday night, catching the eyes of fans, pundits and his own manager with his performance.

Arsene Wenger told that despite the 20-year-old’s one defensive mistake, he did very well. He said: “[Maitland-Niles] had a big performance today. What he has to learn is to keep that focus, urgency and concentration for 95 minutes because on the second goal he was a bit caught. Overall, though, I thought he was remarkable.”

Wenger’s words are backed up by the statistics. Maitland-Niles made six tackles against the defending Premier League Champions, including one as the last man. He also made two clearances, and won nine out of his twelve duels. In possession, he completed 88% of his passes, created one chance, and completed three of his four attempted dribbles.

maitland niles liverpool
LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 22: Ainsley Maitland-Niles of Arsenal shields the ball from Mohamed Salah of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Liverpool at Emirates Stadium on December 22, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

In fact, according to Whoscored, he was Arsenal’s man-of-the-match. Only Eden Hazard got a higher match rating across the two teams. Not only that, but pundits such as Gary Lineker shared Wenger’s enthusiasm for the youngster.

Lineker tweeted that he was “really impressed” with the performance, as the academy graduate showed a lot of maturity. If he’s even impressing ex-Tottenham players, he must be doing something right.


Maitland-Niles also won over some Arsenal fans who were unsure about Wenger leaving Sead Kolasinac out for him recently. They all agreed the Englishman didn’t look out of place at all in such a big game:

Hopefully the midfielder-turned-left-back can build on the best of his performance, work on his one mistake, and push on in the next weeks and months.