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“It was useful for him to play 60 minutes against Birmingham for the cup, he’s been working really hard, so he demonstrated he is able to play,” boss Manuel Pellegrini said.

“He’ll be involved in the game against Arsenal, at least on the squad list. After that we’ll see if he starts.”

Meanwhile, Ainsley Maitland-Niles believes he can be the answer to Arsenal’s search for a new winger.

The Gunners have been linked with the likes of Denis Suarez of Barcelona and Dalian Yifang’s Yannick Carrasco, but manager Unai Emery has admitted the club have no money to make permanent signings and will instead be shopping in the loan market.

“I’d like to be a winger. I feel comfortable there and I’ve been playing there this season. I was a striker growing up. Thierry Henry was the perfect role model at the time.

“Then everybody started growing but I was still a bit short. As I was still quick, direct and could run at players they thought they would put me on the wing. So up until the age of 16 I was a winger.”