Lokonga is blown away by 24-year-old player at Arsenal


Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Albert Sambi Lokonga has named Ainsley Maitland-Niles as one of the fastest players at Arsenal training.

With the exception of a couple of loan spells, Maitland-Niles has spent his entire career as an Arsenal player.

This season, the 24-year-old has worked his way back into the senior squad after failing to get a move away from North London during the summer.

That means that he and new boy Lokonga have been training together under Mikel Arteta.

And asked during a Q&A on the Gunners’ official YouTube who the quickest was, the 21-year-old midfielder said: “The fastest I think is Ainsley or Auba. Yeah Ainsley is fast – really fast!”

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Despite staying at Arsenal, and being unbanned from the training following his failed move to Everton, Maitland-Niles is still only a bit-part player.

He wanted to join Everton for first-team football but has only managed one Premier League start under Arteta this season – and 119 minutes in this competition as a whole.

If this continues until January, Maitland-Niles will be just as determined to leave.

But the good news [for him, at least] is that with Granit Xhaka missing for the rest of the year, Maitland-Niles could play a lot more.

Even before Xhaka’s injury, Arteta was using him in midfield and with the Switzerland international absent for a while, you could think that the Arsenal boss will turn to him – and Lokonga – a little more to partner Thomas Partey.

Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

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