Ainsley Maitland-Niles picked up a knock in training before Saturday’s fixture against Manchester United and remains a doubt for Southampton’s next game.
Arsenal loanee Ainsley Maitland-Niles has been back in favour with Southampton lately, but he missed out on their 0-0 draw against Manchester United at the weekend due to an injury sustained in training.
Southampton boss Ruben Selles reports that the 25-year-old remains a doubt ahead of their game against Brentford on Wednesday night, and they’ll only know his fitness status late on.
“Ainsley Maitland-Niles we will test tomorrow morning and see if he’s available,” Selles said. “I don’t really know any more, it’s on the medical staff. I’m waiting their answer tomorrow morning.”
The timing of the setback is disappointing, as Maitland-Niles’ four starts had given him his longest run in the lineup since joining in the summer.
After time in midfield, at wing-back, and even at centre-back this season, the loanee seemed to have settled at right-back.
He played there in Southampton’s previous three games – the 1-0 win away to Chelsea, the narrow 1-0 defeat to Leeds United, and the 1-0 win over Leicester City.
With Maitland-Niles breaking into the Southampton lineup and the option to buy in his contract, it’s looking increasingly likely they might look to bring him in permanently in the summer.
However, you’d imagine that will rely on the team avoiding relegation first.
Southampton currently sit bottom of the league, at real risk of the drop. Though they’re just three points behind Everton in 15th, so things are very tight at the moment.
Maitland-Niles’ availability for Wednesday could be vital against a top-half Brentford side looking to bounce back from their first league defeat of 2023.