Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy is convinced that Ainsley Maitland-Niles will go on to become a very important player for Arsenal in years to come.
The 17-year-old joined the Tractor Boys on loan this summer and he managed to slot straight into the starting line-up, proving he had no problems making the step up to senior football.
Maitland-Niles started all three matches for Ipswich at the start of the new Championship campaign and he played a key role in helping the team climb to the top of the standings.
Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy admits he has been hugely impressed by the Arsenal starlet and he predicts a great future for the highly rated winger.
“Wow. The talent of him; I think he’s going to play for Arsenal, there’s no doubt in my mind,” McCarthy told BBC Radio Suffolk. “We are just so lucky to have him.”
McCarthy then went on to explain that he had followed the footballer since the first part of last season and even attempted to sign him back in January.
“Nobody knew anything about him. I watched him play against Reading for (Arsenal) under-21s last season and I thought he was great.
“I enquired about him in January, but they needed him for their Champions League squad.
“He’s such a lovely kid and all, he’s fitted in perfectly. What’s nice for him is we’ve got Josh Emmanuel, Myles Kenlock, Adam McDonnell and Teddy Bishop, they’re his age and peers.
“I had the conversation with him ‘I know you can play, but if you don’t run around and don’t put a shift in you won’t play’ but he’s a workaholic.”
After impressing playing for Arsenal Under-21 side as well as while featuring in UEFA Youth League, Maitland-Niles has shone in what is a very competitive league, and Arsenal fans can only hope his rich vein of form will continue in months to come.
The explosive winger could even stake his claim for a place in the Gunners’ squad for the 2016/2017 campaign and no doubt the full season at Ipswich will do wonders for his confidence.