Arsenal Vs Wolves: 3 substitutes who staked their claim

Arsenal, Alexandre Lacazette (Photo by MIKE EGERTON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Arsenal, Alexandre Lacazette (Photo by MIKE EGERTON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Sam Bagnall – AMA/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sam Bagnall – AMA/Getty Images) /

1. Ainsley Maitland-Niles

With Wolves growing into the game and Arteta concerned by the unique threat posed by Adama Traore, he introduced Ainsley Maitland-Niles at left wing-back for Kieran Tierney. The plan was clear. Maitland-Niles is a more athletic, faster player than Tierney who can hold up against Traore in one-on-ones.

Tierney was very good once again, but Arteta was keen to add an added element of defensive speed in an attempt to contain the growing Wolves danger. Maitland-Niles provided precisely that and it helped negate the Traore threat, despite the worst efforts of Sead Kolasinac behind him.

Maitland-Niles was previously banished from the first-team set-up by Arteta. Since the restart, though, he has worked his way back into the Spaniard’s thinking, starting and performing well against Sheffield United last weekend and now turned to in a key game here. Arteta trusts Maitland-Niles.

Next. Arsenal Vs Wolves: 5 things we learned. dark

Whether this leads to precious minutes in central midfield remains to be seen. That, of course, is what Maitland-Niles is desperate for. But he is certainly playing more regularly than before, and thus far, he is taking his chances.