What next for Maitland-Niles after Arsenal youngster’s Ipswich loan spell?


At just 18, Ainsley Maitland-Niles already has a considerable amount of experience under his belt.

The prospect featured fleetingly for the Arsenal first-team last season and has spent this campaign on loan at Ipswich Town, making 32 appearances across all competitions.

It hasn’t all gone to plan, with the youngster struggling to command a place in the side in the closing stages of the season, but Maitland-Niles remains a very exciting prospect and it will intriguing to see what is in store for him next season.

The youngster started the campaign extremely well with Ipswich as he delivered some hugely encouraging displays and showcased his ability to beat players with ease.

The likelihood is that he will be dispatched on loan again next season, but it is tempting to consider keeping him at Arsenal, allowing him to train with the first-team squad and perhaps feature in the Capital One Cup.

It remains to be seen which position Maitland-Niles will end up in long-term- he is capable of playing as a right-winger or a central midfielder- but for now his qualities seem best suited to playing out wide as he can deliver dangerous crosses and use his speed to good effect.

Maitland-Niles is very highly regarded by the Arsenal coaching staff, with the prospect having often starred for the club at youth level. Now he has taken some significant strides towards establishing himself in first-team football and will hope to push on further in his development next season.



  1. I hope his mom won’t make headlines again, as for Ainsley I think he’s not ready yet for the Arsenal and keeping him just for a few capital one cup games won’t help him so another season long loan is what would benefit him most.

  2. I think we sometimes forget the need for squad players. He has now got a fair bit of first team action – as well as being used to being out of the team! The amount of injuries we get then the likes of Niles could be needed at times.
    Obviously it depends on ins and outs, but with Ox and DW long term injured that is two squad places we will have to fill with short term options. Cannot see Joel here next season either, and again that is a place you cannot really see being filled by a big signing.
    He reminds me a bit of Ray Parlour, tbh. Definitely deserves a look in pre-season imo.
    I think sometimes we over-loan, and then the players most suited and ready for the first team miss out on opportunities because they aren’t at the club.

    Hard to get it right though, loan v staying and waiting for a chance.

  3. Also he will benefit from the step up of the U-21s to the top tier. Give him pre-season, then maybe the first half of the season and then re-evaluate.

  4. In my opinion he should spend the coming season with us. I mean his loan should have been cancelled as soon as his mum’s tantrum went public and it was clear he was frozen out and wouldn’t play again. I feel like he is ready to prove his worth to the team, and with Walcott, Campbell possibly leaving this summer it would only add to the squad to have a ball player who can beat a man, deliver good crosses and have an eye for a goal. That he can play out wide or centrally adds to his value. Its time we put our trust in the academy. Together with Willock, Toral, Pleguezo and Akpom getting promoted next season, things look very bright indeed

    1. i don’t think akpom is going to be promoted though. From what i’ve seen, he hasn’t really done enough to warrant playing with the first team.

  5. He’s 18. Loads of potential but we’re not in a position to take the risk in what many expect to be an important season for the 1st team. I’d have him on loan with the best team I could find. Maybe overseas to get him away from his mother and to get him even further from his comfort zone but only with a top team that give a strong indication that he’d get game-time.

  6. When Spurs signed Dele Alli fans and pundits alike thought HE would go out on loan. But HE HAD DONE HIS APPENTICESHIP at MK Dons.

      1. He simply stayed where he was to see out their season and then went to Spurs for the preseason training and then straight into first team action.

  7. Like most 18 year olds his season with Ipswich was up and down. Ainsley started off well but became inconsistent and often lost the ball too easily. In fairness to McCarthy he wasn’t frozen out and did comeback into the Team only to put in a couple of very average performances. I think he has potential and will become a decent player, but at the moment he is light years away from your first Team.

    1. This was my thoughts too, problem is as with most sites aimed at youth players everyone is in a rush to get involved first team. The fact is that Ashley was young enough this year to play for our under 18s. Meaning that in theory he could play at least 3 more seasons of u21 football.

      When a player is outstandingly good enough, he is old enough too and makes that breakthrough, similar to iwobi did at 19 years but coquelin didn’t until he was 23. Not everyone is ready at the same age, in particular centre backs, goalkeepers and defensive midfielders, benefit from the extra 4 years physical development that a 22/23 year old has over an 18/19 year old playing in different positions.

      Then you have 2 players of similar age in akpom and rashford. Akpom was head and shoulders above rashford last year. Then rashford changed his position for man United and all of sudden has leapfrogged akpom and in a massive way.

      Please don’t rush these fellas just let their ability mature with their development at their own speed.

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