The talented winger joined Ipswich from the Gunners on a season-long loan deal in July.
Despite a rather nervy start to life at Ipswich, the 18-year-old has grown with each passing Championship fixture and his latest display against Middlesbrough was particularly impressive.
|Key Passes||Total Crosses||Take-ons||Touches||Accurate Passes||Ball Recoveries||Def Duels Won||Mins Played|
As shown by the data provided by Opta, Maitland-Niles shone in a number of key areas and his performance was all the more notable considering he was up against Boro’s George Friend, who has played in the Premier League with Wolves.
The Arsenal loanee may not be the typical type of player to play in a Mick McCarthy side, yet he had plenty of touches of the ball and was by far Ipswich’s most creative outlet.
Maitland-Niles – commonly referred to as Niles – took 50 touches of the ball, made a total of seven crosses, completed two successful take-ons and played three key passes.
Moreover, he helped his side out well from a defensive point of view as he made five ball recoveries and a hugely impressive nine defensive duel winners against a very decent Boro side.
However, Niles was the first Town player to make way as McCarthy looked to shuffle the pack after going a goal behind to Christian Stuani’s close-range header just after half-time.
It was a rather puzzling decision, especially as he looked the most likely to create something for the hosts.
Ipswich went on to lose 2-0, but Niles was a big positive for the hosts and supporters after the game were full of praise for his performance and critical of the decision to bring him off.
As soon as Niles went off we didn't have any energy, pace or creativity, wasn't playing incredibly but he has a spark at least #itfc— Ipswich Rojillo (@MatchdayFeeling) December 4, 2015
Not one to criticise #itfc but for a big bloke Smith is so lightweight Pitman should've gone off after 60 not our best player Maitland-Niles— Graham Downey (@RAnobreaks1978) December 4, 2015
Solid first half performance. The work rate when out of possession has been superb with a special mention going to Maitland-Niles. #ITFC— Dean Eddyshaw (@godeangogogogo) December 4, 2015
#ITFC - M Niles giving George Friend the run around, bright start from him. '34— The Tractor Boys (@TTBITFC) December 4, 2015