'3/10': Local media slam Arsenal loanee's display last night, say he 'should have' been subbed off
Arsenal-owned player Ainsley Maitland-Niles was in Carabao Cup action for Southampton last night and Hampshire Live didn’t hold back when analysing his performance. The Saints made hard work of defeating Lincoln City 2-1, with the Gunners loanee handed a 3/10 rating.
Nathan Jones took over Southampton shortly before the World Cup break. He has replaced Ralph Hasenhuttl and he will hope to prove that he’s more than a Luton Town stalwart by guiding the Saints to safety.
On last night’s showing, there is plenty of work to do. The Saints were behind against their League One opposition for 23 minutes, with some fans expecting a more dominant performance against lower-league opposition.
Maitland-Niles started the game as part of a midfield three. He was alongside James Ward-Prowse and former Celtic loan star, Mohamed Elyounoussi.
Later on, he moved to the right-sided wing-back position. Kyle Walker-Peters was forced out of the action and the Arsenal man filled the void as Jones was forced into a reshuffle.
It wasn’t his night though. Hampshire Live claimed that he should have been subbed off, delivering some brutal words as they awarded him a 3/10 for his showing.
The local press claimed: “Made a hash of an attempted clearance from a corner that deceived Gavin Bazunu and flew into the Saints goal as Paudie O’Connor challenged the goalkeeper.
“To his credit, he did not shy away from receiving the ball thereafter, but he could – and perhaps should – have been taken off, but was moved to right-back after Walker-Peters was taken off.”
Maitland-Niles in Carabao Cup action and he needs to improve
If the 25-year-old has any desire to perform for Arsenal after this loan, he needs to sharpen up. Against League One opposition he had to take the game by the scruff of the neck and he failed to do so.
Maitland-Niles favours playing in central midfield. It’s a role that he thrived on when he was on loan with West Brom and he will hope to feature more for Southampton in that area.
The Saints need to see more from the Arsenal player. He’s been signed to play a starring role for the club but so far the fan base haven’t seen what all the fuss is about.
Maitland-Niles has some work to do and Mikel Arteta will be monitoring his progress with some intrigue.
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