Arsenal have provided a positive injury update on Granit Xhaka ahead of the Premier League clash against Newcastle United.
The Swiss midfielder sustained a medial ligament injury in late September. It was initially suggested that he could be sidelined for three months.
However, the 29-year-old has made a quicker recovery from the setback, and he could return to full training at the beginning of December.
The news will come as a huge boost for the north London club, who have missed his experience and leadership in the centre of the park.
However, both are fairly inexperienced. Lokonga has had a tough time of late, having squandered possession in key defensive situations.
Maitland-Niles could replace him in the starting line-up when the Gunners entertain the Magpies at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
The Gunners have an excellent record against the Tynesiders. They have a 100 percent home record against them since 2012.