Friendly Insights: Maitland-Niles starts and gets assist in new position and Nketiah nets hat trick in 6-0 Arsenal rout

Aumba in action against Charlton

The Gunners were in friendly action at The Emirates on Saturday 6 June and they strolled to a 6-0 victory over Charlton. Mikel Arteta will have been experimenting with his team ahead of the clubs return to Premier League action in just 10 days.

Arsenal vs Charlton

So what did we learn from Arsenal’s straightforward win over the Championship club on Saturday?

Mikel started the game with one XI and changed it at half time – but we can learn quite a lot from how he started this one.

In what seemed to be the Spaniard’s favoured eleven, Tierney was in at left-back. Amongst other notable inclusions were Matteo Guendozui and Ainsley Maitland Niles in central midfield, whilst Reiss Nelson started ahead of Nicolas Pepe.

We know that Arteta clearly rates Nelson and its not the first time he has selected Reiss to start in the team ahead of Pepe. What was surprising was the inclusion of Maitland-Niles, especially in a midfield role. Arteta has so far left the Englishman on the sidelines under his tenure, but perhaps a shift in attitude from the player has resulted in him receiving a second chance.

Eddie will have put a strong case in to be included in the first team more frequently with a second-half hattrick after replacing Lacazette, whilst Joe Willock also did well in the second half with an impressive goal and assist.


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