by Lewis Ambrose
Arsenal midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles is reportedly close to agreeing a loan move to Ipswich Town.
The switch to the Championship side would see Maitland-Niles spend the entire 2015/16 season at Portman Road and is being reported by Ipswich Star.
The local Ipswich newspaper are say that talks are at an advanced stage for the highly rated teenager.
The 17 year-old made his first team debut for Arsenal back in December, playing a half against Galatsaray in the Champions League.
Only Jack Wilshere has represented Arsenal in the Champions League at a younger age than Maitland-Niles, who was only 17 years and three months old at the time of the group stage clash in December.
Four days later he appeared in the Premier League for the first time in our 4-1 win over Newcastle United, coming on as a substitute in added time.
Maitland-Niles is thought to be a right winger and spent most of his youth career on the flank, but was moved into central midfield for the most recent campaign.
With Isaac Hayden missing Maitland-Niles’ impressive physique was used in the middle of the park as he anchored the midfield in many of his 20 u21 Premier League and six UEFA Youth League appearances in the 2014/15 season.
To be playing regular Championship football at the age of 18 (he turns 18 in August) would be impressive, and says a lot about how highly thought of Maitland-Niles is.
Let’s hope he has a successful season at Ipswich should the deal go through.