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Ralph Hasenhuttl reveals Arsenal tenant Ainsley Maitland-Niles has ‘a lot of work to do’ to join Southampton squad after being dropped from squad against Aston Villa
- Ralph Hasenuttl says Southampton’s Ainsley Maitland-Niles has a lot to learn
- Maitland-Niles dropped out of squad for defeat to Aston Villa
- Hasenhuttl insists Arsenal tenant must improve from possession
Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has claimed Arsenal tenant Ainsley Maitland-Niles has “a lot of work to do” to break into the team.
Maitland-Niles was loaned out to Southampton for a season on transfer deadline day and made his debut for his temporary club as a substitute against Wolves.
However, the 25-year-old was left out of the squad for the defeat to Aston Villa, with Hasenhuttl explaining that Maitland-Niles must improve the ball.
Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl says Ainsley Maitland-Niles ‘has a lot of work to do’
As reported by The sunHasenhuttl said: ‘We have a lot of work to do with Ainsley, also because he has to adapt to our game and this is something that takes some time.
‘We also see what we ask of him during the week and especially in midfield it takes a while to figure out how we want to do it.
“There’s no point throwing in someone who isn’t ready for what we want to do. If he’s ready and at the level we think he should be, he’ll definitely help us.”
Hasenhuttl added that he will do his utmost to help Maitland-Niles develop his all-round game.
Hasenhuttl dropped Maitland-Niles from match squad for defeat to Aston Villa
He said: ‘I think he is a very good player with the ball, but he has to learn that our game starts when the ball is not with us.
“I think this is something he never had to do in the clubs where he played.
“But meanwhile it is modern football, this is a very crucial part, you can see that this is something he still has to learn, so we invest our time to make him better.
“He’s not the speaker, if you like, he takes responsibility on the pitch when he has the ball, sure, he wants to show his qualities there.
“But I think in order to make a big impact in football in the future, he needs to add some parts to his game that he hasn’t had until now and we’ll help him do that.”
Hasenhuttl insisted Maitland-Niles must work hard to be out of position more effectively
Maitland-Niles played over 100 games for Arsenal after graduating from the academy and earned five caps for England in 2020.
However, he has since struggled with consistency and was unable to fully impose himself during a loan spell with Roma in the second half of last season.
Maitland-Niles’ versatility is one of his key strengths, but it has also had a negative effect on his progress as it has resulted in him not being able to secure a solid starting spot in one position.
While he prefers to play as a central midfielder, Maitland-Niles is also able to play at both fullbacks and was a winger when he was younger.
Arsenal reportedly extended Maitland-Niles’ contract for another year when he joined Southampton. His previous contract expired next summer. However, it seems he still has a lot to develop to earn a permanent move to St Mary’s.