Official: Versatile defender joins Arsenal as Debuchy’s replacement

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Arsenal have officially promoted youngster Ainsley Maitland-Niles to the first-team squad ahead of the new season.

Maitland-Niles, a product of Arsenal’s Hale End academy system, has developed well since signing scholarship terms four years ago and has made ten competitive appearances for the Gunners’ first-team so far, while he also gained valuable experience on loan at Ipswich Town in the 2015/16 season.

Capable of playing in various positions, Maitland-Niles is naturally a winger but has been frequently deployed as a central-midfielder in recent seasons, while on the club’s pre-season tour so far he has played as a centre-back and a left wing-back.

Part of the England squad that won the U20 World Cup earlier this summer, Maitland-Niles is expected to feature prominently in cup competitions for Arsenal this campaign.

The youngster, who turns 20 next month, has been wearing the number 30 shirt in pre-season.

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