Ainsley Maitland-Niles has revealed how he joined Arsenal, he also laid bare his love for the club, per reports.
The versatile player joined the Arsenal Hale End Academy only when he was six, and he progressed through the ranks of the club to be a part of the senior team.
He made his debut for Arsenal when in he was only 17 in a UEFA Champions League match against Galatasaray, where he came on as a sub for Aaron Ramsey. Since then, he has improved and he’s about the only utility player at the club.
He spoke to Sky Sports, and revealed how his dad’s love for Arsenal affected him.
“I think it’s more of my dad, to be honest,” Maitland-Niles said. “Since I was born he’s just loved Arsenal. He’s always bought me football kits since growing up as a baby. I had a few Dreamcast kits and that’s going back a long way. It was in the heart from a young age.”
He has now shove aside his father’s love for the club – his own love for the North London club has grown in leaps and bounds as he further claims.
“I’ve had love for the club since I’ve been here,” the 21-year-old said. “I’ll always have love for it but it’s getting stronger every day. It started a long time ago playing for Lakeview. It was pretty strange to get a call at such a young age and for someone to tell you a fantastic club like Arsenal had been watching you and monitoring your progress.
“I can’t remember the team we were playing against at the time but I think my dad came up to me afterwards and he said that there was a scout that was talking to him. From that conversation, my face lit up as soon as I heard Arsenal because that was my boyhood club.”
His best position is the central midfield role – with the presence of Matteo Guendouzi, Lucas Torreira and Granit Xhaka, Emery has favoured to play him in the right back position more. However, the English star has said he could be the next winger revelation at the club.