Young Arsenal winger Ainsley Maitland-Niles has often found himself in the news for the wrong reasons but has still done enough to impress Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy this season.
Maitland-Niles is on loan at Portman Road, where McCarthy has trusted him enough to start 21 games in the Championship this season.Despite only turning 18 last August, the England youth international hasn’t looked out of his depth.
Despite only turning 18 last August, the England youth international hasn’t looked out of his depth.
A total of 30 Championship appearances and countless training sessions have impressed McCarthy, who is eager to see if Maitland-Niles could stay with the club beyond the end of the season.
“We will have a chat,” said the Irish manager.
McCarthy was recently on the receiving end of a foul voicemail from Maitland-Niles’ mother. It’s not the first time she’s threatened to derail the career of a talented young man and, fortunately, it hasn’t been enough to put McCarthy off.
“I am not sure [a permanent transfer] will happen, but he will be a much better player for the 12 months he has had here, with everything that he has enjoyed, endured and experienced in a Championship season.
“Wherever he ends up, I don’t think it will be here, he will be a better player certainly.”
Maitland-Niles didn’t feature for Ipswich on Saturday and the Tractor Boys are now out of play-off contention with just two games remaining. The experience, however, will prove invaluable.
Arsène Wenger has already handed the 18-year-old two appearances at Arsenal in the Premier League and the Champions League. There’s a good chance we will see more of him before next season begins, considering a number of players will feature at Euro 2016.
That will be a chance to impress Wenger and possibly other suitors if another loan spell is deemed to be the best way for the teenager to continue his development.