Thomas on the Mary Maitland-Niles contract


Arsenal legend Michael Thomas debated what could be the best Arsenal center back at the moment.

It has been a high and low season for Arsenal so far, with some recent signs of improvement on Mikel Arteta’s part after a poor start to the season.

Arsenal have many options in defense, but on paper none of them inspire as confidence as you might hope for from the Big Six.

Nevertheless, Thomas is encouraged by Pablo Marie’s recent return to the squad after a long injury, as the 27-year-old appeared solid alongside Rob Houlding in recent matches.

Talking to Caught outside, The former Arsenal midfielder has suggested partnering with Arteta for the time being.

“I think Mary did a really good job,” Thomas said. “He seems to have the intelligence to know where he should be on the field and is communicating well.

“It’s difficult (picking the best partnership) because I think Houlding did well and Gabriel was a rock. David Luiz offers leadership and his ability to play the ball.

“If I were to pick a starting duo for the game against Palace, it would be Houlding and Mary. Nothing is far from the others but I think they had some good matches together and there is no reason they shouldn’t have another match.

Thomas has also talked about other current issues at Arsenal, naming Ainsley Maitland Niles as a player who would like to see more of him.

The versatile star looked good towards the end of last season and earned Arteta’s confidence in some big matches, but he’s shown a lot in that term.

Thomas is a fan of Maitland-Niles, and feels that may change soon as he thinks Arteta is still rate him.

Surprisingly, Ainsley Maitland-Niles has lost his luck at Arsenal this season

“AMN is a player I have a lot of time for,” Thomas said. “It’s Arsenal who shines, knows how to play with the ball and he’s aggressive without it.

“I’m not sure what’s going on but I know Arteta has a lot of faith in him so I’m sure he’s going to play a bigger role soon.”

Thomas also spoke of Pierre Emerick Aubameyang’s lead in the scorecard against Newcastle, expressing his hope that the striker would give a confidence boost.

“The team is playing with more confidence, which is great,” said Thomas. “The calls for Obamyang to play across the middle I thought were wrong. In some games where the streak is high and you can play the ball behind it, he supports this argument, but in general he plays better where he is able to face the goal and stop his friend at Lacazette.

“I think another goal in the middle of the week will help him regain confidence again.”

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