Arsene Wenger will not be too pleased with the recent form of his Arsenal side but he now has the quality to help his side break into the top-4, after missing out on Champions League football this season.
The manager will now turn his attention to keeping top class players at the club beyond the summer transfer window and there are a number of players, who are on the verge of an exit or extending their stay at the club.
While the likes of Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey are constantly linked with an exit, a number of youngsters in the squad are reportedly ready to sign contract extensions at London. One such player, who has been impressive this season is young Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
A product of the academy at Emirates, the versatile 20-year old broke into the first team back in 2014 but is yet to cement his place in the first team. He made 21 appearances for Ipswich Town in the Championship in the 2015-16 season, out on loan, but has been with Wenger ever since returning from Portman Road.
He made just one substitute appearance in the previous season but has been used extensively this season, as a wing-back on the left flank, thanks to the lack of backups for first choice full-back Sead Kolasinac this season.
He has five leagues starts and six Europa League starts and has been impressive, making things happen at both ends of the field. He is still 20, and ready to break into the English senior side and is one of the most exciting prospects at Arsenal, at the moment.
So it does not come as a surprise that Wenger is desperate to tie him down to a long-term deal. Niles, who stands as the second youngest Arsenal star to feature in the Champions League, has just 18 months left on his current contract and reports now reveal that the manager sees him as a first-team option in the future.
It is understood that Arsenal have already opened talks with the youngster’s representatives and have no intentions of letting him leave anytime soon.
Capable of playing on either wing or as a midfielder, the 20-year old can spend another couple of years as a backup to Kolasinac if it means that he will make 20+ appearances a season, which he is well on course to do already this season.
He will not find many top teams ready to gamble on him at such an early age and signing a new deal with Arsenal will be the best move for him and for the club. But do you think Arsenal should try and sign another first team left-back?
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