England boss Aidy Boothroyd tips Maitland-Niles for the top

Ainsley Maitland-Niles battles with Michael Kightly during the Ipswich Town v Burnley match at Portm

Ainsley Maitland-Niles battles with Michael Kightly during the Ipswich Town v Burnley match at Portman Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, UK on 18 August 2015. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ainsley Maitland-Niles won’t be another talented teenager who fails to reach his potential.

So says Aidy Boothroyd, the England Under-19 manager (pictured below) mightily impressed by what he’s seen of Ipswich Town’s loanee starlet on the international stage.

The tricky winger, who only recently turned 18, has hit the ground running at Portman Road and has been tipped to become a star at parent club Arsenal by Blues boss Mick McCarthy.

“He’s doing very, very well,” enthused former Watford, Colchester, Coventry and Northampton boss Boothroyd.

“He scored a terrific goal for us in Germany last week (firing a long-range effort into the top corner to secure a 3-2 win) and was one of our best players.

“Similar to Mick, I take into account players’ character and work ethic when making my selections.

“Ainsley wouldn’t be at Ipswich if he didn’t have those things. If you are going to be successful at any level then they are all non-negotiables.”

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Maitland-Niles impressed against Brentford, Sheffield Wednesday and Burnley, but was then rested at Preston. He returned to the starting line-up for the home game against Brighton, but, along with right-back Josh Emmanuel, was subbed at half-time in that 3-2 defeat.

His starring role against Germany came on Friday, while he was then an unused sub in Croatia on Monday night.

With McCarthy’s men resuming Championship action at Reading tomorrow night (8pm ko), Boothroyd added: “Ainsley is obviously a talented player, but we’ve all seen talented players that fall by the wayside.

“I don’t see that being the case with him because he’s a young player who wants to listen, learn and improve.

“What I like about him is that he doesn’t play for himself, he plays for his team-mates, his coaches and his managers.

“I think he’s at a great place to progress his career at the moment because Ipswich is a fantastic club and he’s in good hands with Mick.”

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