Arsenal starlet Ainsley Maitland-Niles is ‘next Gareth Bale’, Tony Cascarino says – ‘Sorry, Spurs fans’
Former Chelsea forward Tony Cascarino has apologised to Tottenham fans for discovering the ‘next Gareth Bale’… who just happens to play for Arsenal.
Cascarino, in his latest Times column, claims 21-year-old Gunners starlet Ainsley Maitland-Niles is showing all the same kind of traits as Bale did when he first joined Spurs in 2007.
He is, as Cascarino writes, ‘a full-back who is not really a full-back’, as Bale was in his early career.
Eventually Bale moved higher and higher up the pitch, ending up as an all-out forward – the position in which he became world class.
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Maitland-Niles is naturally a midfielder, and he’s only been forced to play in defence due to the injury to Hector Bellerin. Nonetheless, he has impressed at right-back, and has also shown his versatility by playing on the left side of defence on occasion this season.
Having developed as a player in a more advanced position, Maitland-Niles loves to get forward, making him the perfect option for a modern full-back.
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And Cascarino did not hold back in his praise of the youngster.
“Sorry, Spurs fans.
“Ainsley Maitland-Niles is a full-back who is not really a full-back, just like Bale when he joined Tottenham in 2007. He has fierce pace and gets in great positions to score and create chances. He has improved hugely and has benefited from the injury to the first-choice right back Héctor Bellerín.
“He is more of a wing back but could easily play in midfield too.”
Cascarino did offer a warning to Maitland-Niles, however, concerning the injuries that may occur due to his style of play.
“After a few recent injuries,” he continued, “the worry is that his explosive style may make him injury-prone, like Bale.”
Source: SportsLatest TS