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​Cole believes 'versatility' hindered Maitland-Niles chances at Arsenal

Ashley Cole believes versatility has worked against Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

The midfielder can play in several positions, including central midfield, winger and as a full back.

The 23-year-old is currently on loan at West Brom, and Cole believes a lack of specialisation in one area may have hurt Maitland-Niles he attempts to break through at Arsenal.

"I think the problem he had was he was too versatile for his own good," former Gunners star Cole said on Sky Sports.

"There were so many players in the squad. You got an injury at right-back, left-back, central midfield, right wing, left wing-back, he could play everywhere.

"But it's very important for young players to nail down a spot and really make that their own.

"He feels central midfield is his position, that that's where he wants to ply his trade and Big Sam [Allardyce] has taken a chance on him and given him that opportunity."

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