Ainsley Maitland-Niles seems to have taken a shot at Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta by suggesting he was ‘rotting away’ during his time with the club.
The Englishman barely featured under the Spaniard this season, starting barely any Premier League games before his departure to West Bromich Albion.
Speaking to talkSPORT about his move to the Midlands outfit, the ace did admit that the deal was temporary, however, was a much-needed change of scenery.
Maitland-Niles said: “It’s another loan deal, you are going to end up going back to the club eventually. It was just more of a chance for me to show what I’m capable of other than sitting on the bench for the rest of the season and rotting away.”
Was West Brom a good move for Maitland-Niles?
In all honesty, it’s an extraordinary statement from the 23-year-old, however, also a very fair one. Arteta has been a breath of fresh air in some areas of work during his time at the club, but, his use of the entire first-team squad isn’t one of them.
The club’s struggles in the Premier League are well documented and the former Manchester City coach’s ability to trust certain members continuously has been one of his main downfalls. The lack of trust in the likes of Maitland-Niles during a period of struggle from Hector Bellerin and Cedric Soares earlier in the season was baffling, to say the least.
Whilst Soares failed to impose himself, the Spain international seemingly forgot how to take a throw-in. However, the Hale End academy star was nowhere to be seen as appearances were few and far between during this period.
It’s not just the midfielder/defender who has been a victim of the manager’s lack of rotation with Nicolas Pepe having failed to secure a starting spot in recent weeks despite his fantastic run of displays.
Whilst Arsenal struggled, Maitland-Niles was left to rot on the bench for far too long than should’ve been the case. Far too much trust had been placed in underperforming stars prior to his departure for West Brom, a weakness of Arteta’s managerial regime thus far.