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Kings of Anglia Issue 9 Magazine Offer

Ainsley Maitland-Niles will be an outstanding player for Arsenal, says Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy

PUBLISHED: 06:00 20 August 2015

Ainsley Maitland-Niles. Photo: Steve Waller

Ainsley Maitland-Niles. Photo: Steve Waller

© Stephen Waller

Enjoy him while you can because Ainsley Maitland-Niles is heading for the very top.

That’s the message from Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy to Blues fans after the 17-year-old Arsenal loanee’s exciting start to life at Portman Road.

The teenage winger – who’s in Suffolk for the season and can’t be recalled – produced a man-of-the-match performance in Tuesday night’s 2-0 home win over newly-relegated Burnley.

Quick, tricky and classy on the ball, Maitland-Niles has also worked his socks off and been both unselfish and brave out of possession.

“He’s an outstanding player,” enthused McCarthy. “If he doesn’t end up being outstanding for Arsenal I’ll be very surprised. Thanks to Arsene (Wenger) for lending him to us because he’s done us a right turn.”

Asked if he felt Maitland-Niles – who just has ‘Niles’ on the back of his No.7 shirt – was heading for the very top, McCarthy replied: “Absolutely. He looks like a slight lad, but he gets about and does all the jobs that wingers don’t traditionally do; tracking back with the full-back and getting his foot in.

“He’s got real quality and he’s a lovely kid too, he really is smashing. We’re blessed that we’ve got him actually.”

Meanwhile, McCarthy says it was owner Marcus Evans’ decision to hand striker Freddie Sears a new four-year contract this week.

Sears has scored 11 goals in just 19 starts and seven substitute appearances for the Blues, following his switch from League One neighbours Colchester United back in January.

“Fair play to Marcus. Freddie was already on a long deal, but he did the business for us last year and Marcus has rewarded him with a contract that he thoroughly deserves and reflects his status in the club now,” said McCarthy.

“He’s somebody who has come in and stepped up a gear. He’s top class.”

Sears’ £100k price tag is increasingly looking like the Football League’s best bargain buy of 2015, especially when you consider that Bristol City are ready to splash out £9m on Brentford’s Andre Gray.

“That doesn’t really faze me that, what other people are doing, good luck to them,” said McCarthy.

“It’s funny, it’s always the same when a player is successful – everyone says ‘how did you get him?’

“Well we knew about Freddie because he was down the road at Colchester, we offered him another step up the ladder and it suited him geographically.

“Now you hear other clubs saying ‘we were looking at him too’, well ‘unlucky’ – we got him!”

Worried neighbours in an Ipswich street claim brazen drug dealing is taking place in front of children returning home from school.

There is good news for bargain hunters in Stowmarket as a discount store bids to make a return to the town.

A 17-year-old youth accused of being involved in a fight in the car park of an Ipswich McDonald’s restaurant during which a 16-year-old boy was stabbed has admitted an offence of violent disorder.

Police are looking to speak to a man in connection with incidents of stalking in the Norwich Road area of Ipswich.

Families on the Ravenswood estate have spoken of their disappointment after it was announced Rudolph and Santa won’t be passing through their streets this year.

Ipswich singer/songwriter Richard Osborne - who records under his surname - Osborne, has a worldwide hit on his hands with his debut dance single.

MP Dr Dan Poulter has demanded that Mid Suffolk Council takes action to ensure there is no development on land at Brockford in his constituency without planning permission.

Strictly Come Dancing attracts millions of viewers every Saturday evening to the BBC and the show has breathed new life into what has been a popular pastime in Ipswich for decades.

A three vehicle crash on the A12 at Saxmundham caused traffic hold ups at lunchtime today.

David Button will lead by example as he joins more than 400 fundraisers to brave the wintry weather on Christmas morning and run into the sea at Felixstowe.

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