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Sol Campbell questions Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta over not starting Ainsley Maitland-Niles against West Brom

Arsenal have made it three wins in a row in the Premier League
Arsenal have made it three wins in a row in the Premier League
Ume Elvis
ANALYST
Modified 04 Jan 2021, 07:26 IST
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Arsenal made it three Premier League wins in a row with a convincing 4-0 victory away to West Brom on Saturday.

However, former Arsenal defender Sol Campbell has questioned a decision made by Gunners boss Mikel Arteta.

Speaking to Football Insider, the 46-year-old labelled the exclusion of Ainsley Maitland-Niles from the starting lineup as strange. He said,

"Bellerin has done OK in the past few games
“I would not say he has been brilliant but he has done OK.
“I think Maitland-Niles played very well against Everton but Bellerin has been back in the side since Chelsea. That was a really good win and Maitland-Niles has found himself out in the cold again.
“It’s really strange because I thought he was Arsenal’s top performer against Everton. I do not know what was going on at the football club.
“If it is frustrating for me I can only imagine what it is like for Maitland-Niles. It must be driving him up the wall.”

Campbell had earlier stated he believed that England international Maitland-Niles would leave Arsenal in search of regular playing time to solidify his spot on the international scene.

Maitland-Niles has been with Arsenal since 2003 and made his first-team debut in 2014, going on to make over 100 appearances in all competitions for the Gunners.

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Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester United are among the sides linked with the 23-year-old, although it is unknown if he would depart his boyhood club in search of regular playing time.

Arsenal's recent upturn in fortune

Arsenal are six points behind the top six
Arsenal are six points behind the top six

A poor run of results saw Arsenal looking over their shoulders at the relegation zone in what was their worst start to a campaign since 1974.

The north London club were struggling for goals and ideas on the field, while they were also plagued by defensive shakiness and a new-found penchant for collecting red cards.

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All these seemingly pointed to Mikel Arteta being out of his depth, but a change in approach has seen the tide turn for the Gunners.

Arteta has given Arsenal youngsters a chance and they have responded in kind, with three consecutive victories registered over Chelsea, Brighton, and West Brom.

These wins have pushed Arsenal up to 11th on the table but more crucialy, they are now just six points behind sixth-placed Everton, who have a game in hand.

Gone are the uncertainties and lack of ideas that plagued Arsenal for much of the season, while Emile Smith Rowe has justified the calls for him to be included in the team with a series of sleek displays in the middle of the park.

Up next for Arsenal is an FA Cup clash against Newcastle United at the weekend, while they would be looking to make it four Premier League wins in a row when they host Crystal Palace next Thursday.

Published 04 Jan 2021, 07:26 IST
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