Video: Ipswich Town sign Arsenal youngster Ainsley Maitland-Niles on season-long loan
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich Town have completed their fourth signing of the summer with the capture of Arsenal starlet Ainsley Maitland-Niles on a season-long loan deal.
The 17-year-old winger is a product of the Gunners’ youth team and has made two substitute appearances for the north London team, against Turkish giants Galatasaray in the Champions League and against Newcastle United in the Premier League.
Town have already signed former Cardiff City defender Josh Yorwerth and striker Brett Pitman (permanent) and winger Ryan Fraser (season-long loan) from Bournemouth.
Maitland-Niles, who signed his professional deal with Arsenal last October, has signed a full loan with Town, not a youth loan, and despite his tender years, is expected to be challenging for a first-team spot come August when the Blues kick-off their Championship campaign at Brentford.
The youngster, an England Under-18 international who can play anywhere across the midfield and on the wing, spoke to the club’s website and was delighted to have moved to Suffolk.
“It’s been a long wait to get the deal done but I’m here now and I’m ready to work,” Maitland-Niles, who joined Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal at the age of nine, said.
“Arsenal want me to get a bit of experience under my belt and I’m happy to do that. I’m still young and there’s plenty of time for me to develop.
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“The Championship is a tough league but one I feel ready to perform in.
“The lads have really made me feel welcome here, they are wonderful.
“You can tell there’s a good group here and they’ve helped me settle in really well.
“I’m ready to work hard in pre-season now and hopefully hit the ground running ahead of the new season.”
Meanwhile, we understand that Noel Hunt is back in training with Ipswich Town.
Along with his brother Stephen, Darren Ambrose and Paul Anderson, the Irish striker was not offered a new deal at the end of last season, although Town manager Mick McCarthy did not rule out revisiting the quartet’s futures later down the line.
Former Town youth player Ambrose is already back in pre-season with Town and Noel Hunt has joined him – the pair hoping to do enough to win new deals at Portman Road next season.
The former Reading and Leeds United man scored four goals in 15 games for the Blues last season, including a memorable double strike in the 3-1 win at Millwall, after signing a short-term deal following a successful loan spell.