Ainsley Maitland-Niles is ‘wasting his talent,’ says Arsenal legend Martin Keown

first_img Phil HaighThursday 24 Oct 2019 9:35 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link123Shares Ainsley Maitland-Niles is struggling for form this season (Picture: Getty Images)Ainsley Maitland-Niles is wasting his talent at Arsenal, according to club legend Martin Keown, after a poor display in the Europa League.The 22-year-old started Arsenal’s clash with Vitoria Guimaraes at the Emirates on Thursday night, but was substituted at half-time after a below-par showing in the first 45 minutes.Playing in the centre of midfield, rather than the right-back slot he held for much of last season, Maitland-Niles was culpable for the Portuguese side’s second goal, giving the ball away in the middle of the pitch in the build-up.Keown sees the problem as mental, with Maintland-Niles showing his ‘lazy’ and ‘sloppy’ side on Thursday night.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT‘[Hector] Bellerin is playing in his preferred position [right-back] tonight, [Calum] Chambers has taken his berth in the Premier League.‘He looked like he was feeling sorry for himself tonight and there’s no time for that from as professional footballer.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City‘Maitland-Niles is all at sea [for the second goal], it’s a laziness and a sloppiness.‘The player has got great ability but he’s wasting his talent at the moment.’The versatile youngster has started six Premier League games for the Gunners this season, but was out of the team as they lost 1-0 at Sheffield United on Monday night.Arsenal host Crystal Palace on Sunday night and he may struggle to get his place in the team back, if Gunners boss Unai Emery shares Keown’s assessment of him.Maitland-Niles spoke earlier this month about the development of his attacking talents under assistant first-team coach Freddie Ljungerg this season.‘There’s quite a few things [I have learnt from Ljungberg] really,’ said the Arsenal man. ‘He knows me as a winger, so attacking-wise he’s helped my game a lot.‘Defensively, I go to someone else to help me because they’re two different styles that I have to play. Him personally, he’s pulled me to the side a lot and has shown me different techniques and ways of beating players, ways of crossing the ball and shooting.‘It’s helping me and I’m happy to have him around because he’s such a big figure in the team.’MORE: Marcelo Bielsa explains why he still won’t start Arsenal loanee Eddie Nketiah in lengthy rantMORE: Arsenal defender David Luiz open to return to Brazil in the future Comment Advertisementcenter_img Advertisement Ainsley Maitland-Niles is ‘wasting his talent,’ says Arsenal legend Martin Keownlast_img