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Arsenal loanee Maitland-Niles told he 'isn't ready' to play for Southampton as Hasenhuttl claims midfielder is not at required level

4:46 PM IST 18/09/22
Ainsley Maitland-Niles Roma
Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has insisted that Ainsley Maitland-Niles still "isn't ready" to play following his loan switch from Arsenal.
  • Maitland-Niles not in squad vs Villa
  • Struggling for form in recent seasons
  • Spent time on loan at West Brom & Roma

WHAT HAPPENED? Maitland-Niles made a deadline-day switch to Southampton, but the move hasn't quite gone as expected yet. The midfielder has made just one appearance off the bench and was not in the squad as the Saints lost 1-0 to Aston Villa on September 16, with Hasenhuttl admitting he has a long way to go before being suitable for regular minutes.

WHAT HE SAID: "We have with Ainsley a lot of work to do also because he has to adapt to our game and this is something that takes time a little bit," the Saints boss said after the defeat. "We see also during the week what we ask him to do and especially in the midfield position it takes a little bit to understand how we want to do it. It doesn’t make sense to throw someone in who isn’t ready for what we want to do. When he is ready and on the level we think he has to be then he will help us for sure."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The England midfielder has endured a turbulent few years, sporadically appearing for Arsenal under Mikel Arteta and taking in a short spell at West Brom before being shipped out on loan to Roma at the back end of last season.

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WHAT NEXT FOR MAITLAND-NILES? Maitland-Niles will hope he can find some form and have a good season for Southampton, who will next face Everton at St Mary's on October 1.