The academy product featured on the left side of the two wing-backs deployed by Arsenal Head Coach Mikel Arteta in yesterday’s FA Cup semi-final win over Manchester City. His versatility has seen him being deployed in several defensive related roles for Arsenal on both the right and left side of the team’s formation. However, his preference for playing through the middle have made more headlines rather than his stellar performances.
Yesterday, however, saw the emergence of the young player in the role he played. Expertly nullifying Riyad Mahrez left foot and subsequently Phil Foden after the Algerian was replaced for ineffectiveness. Limitations of his left foot showed when he made forward forays however his primary role of providing cover for the defence was a splendid 100% performance. Speaking after the game, Arteta responding to questions on the midfielder’s ability stated
“Absolutely. And I was sure about that with the way he’s training, the way he’s changed his mentality and his mindset.
“He has everything, he has great qualities, I believe in him. I had to give him opportunities and today he took it with both arms. He had a really good performance.”
Earlier in the week, David Ornstein of The Athletic reported on the midfielders desire to leave the club due to a lack of game time. The midfielder recently, however, stated his willingness to play in any position asked by Mikel Arteta
Obviously I do prefer playing central midfield but that is not to say I don’t want to play right-back or that I’m not going to do the job there if the manager asks me to.
“If the manager says to me ‘Ains you gotta go in goal this game I will put the gloves on and I am ready to rock n roll’.”
Little is known if all the rumours surrounding the player led to the on-the-pitch communication after the game last night with David Luiz seen speaking to the young footballer in what seemed an advisory conversation.
David Luiz at full time with AMN. Influential to many of the youngsters in the Arsenal side. 👏🏼pic.twitter.com/ymuzB1gl5d
— GoonerViews (@GoonerViews) July 18, 2020