Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhüttl has revealed that Ainsley Maitland-Niles is not in the right condition to play for the Saints yet.
The midfielder joined them on loan from Arsenal in the last transfer window, and we expected him to play often.
He had spent the last campaign on loan at AS Roma, where he won the Europa Conference League.
He should ideally be one of the senior players at Saint Marys, but that hasn’t been the case, and he has instead struggled to play.
The England international didn’t make the matchday squad as Soton lost 1-0 to Aston Villa in the Premier League last night.
Reporters asked his manager why that happened, and he revealed, as quoted by Sun Sports:
“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.
“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.”
Just Arsenal Opinion
Maitland-Niles needs to get back to form after his underwhelming spell at Roma last season.
Soton is one of the best homes for young players, and he should enjoy his football again.
The midfielder still has time, and he might use this international break to train and be fit to play more often.