Arsenal were defeated by Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday and while fans were disappointed with the result, they were buoyed by the performances of young players that came into the team.
Arsene Wenger made a number of changes to the starting line-up for the 2-1 defeat, giving big opportunities to the likes of Konstantinos Mavrapanos, Reiss Nelson and Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
The performance of Maitland-Niles especially caught supporters’ eyes throughout the 90 minutes, with many loving his attitude in the middle of the park going up against more established talents like Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic.
The 20-year-old has progressed well in the Gunners first team this season, making 19 starts in all competitions, but this match was perhaps his true arrival on the big stage and fans are now even more excited about his future.
Will he be a lasting Wenger legacy after the Frenchman leaves the club this summer?
Fans took to Twitter to share their thoughts…
Ainsley Maitland-Niles has so much promise. The kid has a bright future ahead of him, and I think Pogba feels the same judging but his reaction at full-time. Let’s hope he continues to develop.
— AFCAMDEN (@AFCAMDEN) April 29, 2018
Pogba immediately going towards Maitland-Niles after the final whistle and probably giving him a piece of advice after a fantastic performance.
Shame the boys couldn’t hold on for the last 5 mins, but they gave in a fantastic performance. The future is bright.
— Merci Arsène (@theEpicGooner) April 29, 2018
Maitland-Niles has got all the ingredients to be a big player for us in central midfield. Hope the new manager can help him fulfil his enormous potential.
— Gurjit (@GurjitAFC) April 29, 2018
Very impressed with Mavropanos and Maitland Niles. Mavro hasn't put much of a foot wrong and Niles is playing with such a fearless mindset. I love that from a youngster.
— LTArsenal™ (@ltarsenal) April 29, 2018
I’m a big fan of Maitland-Niles. Looking forward to seeing him develop as a midfielder. Such a talent
— Le Grove (@LeGrove) April 29, 2018
Ainsley Maitland-Niles, a 20-year-old English midfielder, won Man of the Match today in a game that featured Aubameyang, Pogba, Lukaku & Alexis. Zero mention on MOTD. Imagine if that was a player from any other club. There’d be an hour-long tribute.
— Jarsène Benger (@gunnerpunner) April 29, 2018
Why is no one talking about taking Maitland-Niles to the World Cup? Guy is versatile and comfortably better than current members of the squad, get him on the plane
— H (@SimpIyMesut) April 29, 2018
We’ve got one hell of a player in Maitland-Niles. The real shining light from a disappointing afternoon. #MUFCvAFC
— Adam Keys (@_AdamKeys) April 29, 2018
Maitland-Niles ballin at Old Trafford… am I surprised? No.
— Mikey (@MaitIandesque) April 29, 2018