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Ainsley Maitland-Niles tells Unai Emery he wants a more attacking role at Arsenal

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Ainsley Maitland-Niles says he is not trained as a defender (AMA/Getty Images)

Ainsley Maitland-Niles has told Unai Emery that he is being played out of position for Arsenal.

The 22-year-old has deputised at right-back this season as Hector Bellerin is still recovering from knee surgery after suffering a cruciate ligament injury in January.

Maitland-Niles has already provided two assists from the right flank this term but he has been widely criticised by fans for his defending.

Im not a defender so I do get a lot of stick about my defending being poor, but its something Im learning and have been learning for a couple of years now, Maitland-Niles told Sky Sports.

Its not going to come overnight. If I was a defender as a kid, and my defending was poor, I would understand where the criticism is coming from, but Im trying my best for the team and for the manager.

Arsenal's English midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles controls the ball during the English Premier League football match between Watford and Arsenal
Maitland-Niles has been criticised by Arsenal fans this season (AFP/Getty Images)

Its not where I would choose to put myself in the team, as Im an attacking player by trade. Thats all I can try to bring to the team.

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Im still learning the defensive side, so when players are running at me, and theyre throwing skills at me, Im still learning how to deal with that.

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