What was supposed to be a beneficial loan spell has turned into a nightmare for Arsenal’s Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
The 18-year-old joined Ipswich Town on a season-long loan in July. The Daily Mail sent a scout to watch Maitland-Niles in action and all reports were positive.
In January, the youngster made headlines after scoring a cracking goal against Portsmouth. Fast-forward three months, however, and Maitland-Niles can’t get in Ipswich’s starting line-up.
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And he has his mum to blame.
The Sun ran a bizarre story claiming Maitland-Niles has been frozen out at the Championship club after his mum, Jule, left an aggressive voicemail on Mick McCarthy’s phone.
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Jule took action after McCarthy refused to allow Maitland-Niles to attend the England kit launch. The FA invited the midfielder to attend the event but McCarthy wanted him to stay in Ipswich to prepare for a midweek game.
Maitland-Niles’ mum left a message on the Irishman’s mobile phone that was so expletive, McCarthy asked his coaching staff to listen “to make sure I’m not going mad”.
The former Sunderland boss punished Maitland-Niles for his mother’s actions, leaving him out of the squad for the game against Blackburn on March 15.
And the England international hasn’t appeared since, his last game coming on March 12.
Arsenal are aware of the incident and a club source said: “Mick's a Yorkshireman and he's prepared to tolerate most things, but not something like this.
“The language was disgusting and so poisonous that it even shocked Mick. He's only ever tried to do what's right for the kid and protect his career, but this is something new to him.
“He likes the boy and thinks he has potential to be a top player, but he's worried that his mother is having a detrimental affect on his career."
Jule has history
This, rather shockingly, isn’t the first time Jule has coming between her son and his football.
The Telegraph reported last year that she was banned from Arsenal’s training ground after hitting a member of staff.
Jule was said to have struck Dick Law, Arsenal’s chief negotiator, and threatened to drag her son off the pitch during an under-21 game.
She sounds like a woman not to be messed with.
Maitland-Niles became the second youngest player to represent the Gunners in the Champions League when he came on as sub against Galatasaray last season.
The winger has represented England at under-17, under-18 and under-19 level and is tipped to have a bright future.
A scout, who compared the Arsenal man to Ray Parlour, told the Daily Mail: “Ainsley Maitland-Niles has physical strength for one so young and covers the ground effortlessly. Stamina is not a problem.
“Playing on the right, he seems to know already when to pull out to the touchline to create width by dragging the full back out towards him. Crucially, he also knows when to tuck in once possession is lost.”
By the sounds of it, Jule needs to take a backseat and let her son’s talent do the talking.