Ainsley Maitland-Niles: “I owe Arsene Wenger a lot”

Arsenal youngster Ainsley Maitland-Niles has opened up about his relationship with manager Arsene Wenger claiming the French boss “treats every player as family”.

Having impressed on loan at Ipswich Town two seasons ago and patiently waiting for his opportunity last season, the player has so far made an impressive 27 appearances for the Gunners during the 2017/18 campaign.

Maitland-Niles has been dubbed as one of the country’s biggest up-and-coming talents, having been part of the England side that won the Under-20 World Cup last summer, going on to impress in the first-team at the Emirates.

“He’s such a loving guy”

Arsene Wenger celebrates v Manchester City

LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 23: Arsene Wenger manager of Arsenal celebrates his team’s 2-1 victory at the final whistle during the Emirates FA Cup Semi-Final match between Arsenal and Manchester City at Wembley Stadium on April 23, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images,)

With the Frenchman coming under immense pressure this season with results going in Arsenal’s favour, Maitland-Niles has jumped to the defence of the 68-year-old.

Maitland-Niles told Sky Sports News:

“I owe him a lot for believing in me and telling me I need to work on stuff before he has put me out there

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“I come in every day and try and work as hard as I can on the things I know I need to work hard on and the things that other people pull me up about to be the best that I can.

“Me personally, he’s a very trusting person. He has a lot of belief in his players and whenever you want to talk to him about something his door’s always open – you can always walk in.

“Especially on the training pitch, he does put his arm around you when he thinks, ‘Look, I need to get into this player and tell him in a nice way how he needs to improve on this and that’, and it gives you a lot of confidence that the boss believes in you.

“You could talk to him about anything. He’s such a loving guy, he treats every player as family.

“It depends how open you are as well to go and speak to him. It’s almost like he can be your dad, but he’s your coach at the same time, so he’s giving you that push in both areas.”