Arsenal starlet Ainsley Maitland-Niles proved it pays to be polite, as he responded to some strong criticism from fans on social media.
The versatile 21-year-old England Under-21 international has spent the majority of his life with the Gunners having joined them at the age of six and working his way through the north Londoners’ youth ranks, before making his professional debut in the Champions League at the age of 17.
Maitland-Niles then spent a season on loan in the Championship with Ipswich in 2015-16 before returning to Arsenal.
He became a regular first team player in Arsene Wenger’s final season as manager of the club last term, making 28 total appearances in all competitions and has remained in the plans of current boss Unai Emery.
Maitland-Niles could be forgiven for believing that he has now made the grade having won over two top coaches in the game.
However, unlike the majority of his fellow professionals, it appears that the youngster is still willing to take advice, and the odd bit of criticism, from the Arsenal supporters.
Maitland-Niles featured for the full 90 minutes of Saturday’s 2-1 win at bottom side Huddersfield which kept the Gunners in touch with the top-four places in the Premier League.
Despite starring in a winning team, it was not good enough for some fans who took to his Instagram page to offer some criticism and to try and help his game progress in the future.
One wrote: “You lose the ball carelessly be careful when going forward especially when you play against tight teams that don’t give space away. Anyway keep fighting.”
Another added: “Please work on not giving up the ball. Otherwise, great game!” And a third wrote: “You are too lazy for Arsenal.”
And, while many players would just scroll past the critics and ignore them or even be tempted to fire back with a retort, Maitland-Niles happily took everything on board and provided well-mannered responses.
He wrote: “Sorry, I’ll take it into consideration,” another: “Thanks I’ll try better brother,” and a final one: “Sorry bro, I’ll do better next game.”
It seems to have further endeared the player to the majority of the Arsenal fans, while his politeness will also keep the trolls at bay knowing they won’t be getting a rise from Maitland-Niles.