Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ loan spell at Ipswich started off promisingly but petered off towards the end.

The midfielder scored twice, once against Bolton in the Championship, another against Portsmouth in the FA Cup, and he assisted three times. However, from December onward he gradually got less and less game time and was soon dropped from the squad altogether.

Whether this is down to the actions of the 18-year-old’s mother, who left an angry voicemail on manager Mick McCarthy’s phone over her son not being allowed to attend an event, we will likely never know. However, it’s important to note that he had been dropped before this.

Despite his omission from the squad, McCarthy later insisted that he’d like to keep the midfielder and extend his loan spell. Although he’s yet to follow this up.

Ainsley is still very new and young, therefore, just because this loan spell was a bit of a roller coaster doesn’t make it a flop. He’ll live and learn.