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Arsenal boss Wenger praises former youth academy graduate Ainsley Maitland-Niles

PUBLISHED: 11:15 19 December 2017 | UPDATED: 11:15 19 December 2017

Arsenal's Ainsley Maitland-Niles (pic John Walton/PA)

Arsenal's Ainsley Maitland-Niles (pic John Walton/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has hailed 20-year-old youth academy graduate Ainsley Maitand-Niles as the future of the club.

The long-serving Frenchman praised the highly-rated East Londoner after playing every minute of the last two Premier League matches against West Ham United and Newcastle United.

With the Gunners set to face David Moyes side for the second time in six days, Wenger spoke glowingly of the versatile former Arsenal youth who has been at the club since he was nine.

He said: “I believe he is the future. He can play left back, right back, central midfield. Of the three positions, maybe the least natural for him is left back, but he adapts very quickly and is a good defender.

“He has that sense of one against one, he is very strong, he is very quick, he has very quick recovery runs when he comes back.

“He has some aspects to learn: experience and he has to work on his heading.

“But overall, what he has done in the last [week] is positive.”

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