Ainsley Maitland-Niles
Ainsley Maitland-Niles impressing on loan at Portland Road. Getty

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy is certain Arsenal youngster Ainsley Maitland-Niles will go on to play for the Gunners first team. The 17 year old made three appearances off the bench for Arsene Wenger's side last season but has joined up with the Championship outfit for the 2015-16 campaign.

Three games into his spell at Portman Road and Maitland-Niles has already made a big impression, providing the assist for David McGoldrick's goal against Burnley on 18 August to extend Ipswich's bright start to the season.

Speaking to BBC Radio Suffolk, McCarthy revealed he has been tracking the winger for some time and has no doubts over his ability to return to the Emirates next season and command a first team role.

"Wow, the talent of him; I think he is going to play for Arsenal, there is no doubt in my mind," McCarthy said. "We are just so lucky to have him.

"Nobody knew anything about him. I watched him play against Reading for [Arsenal's] Under-21s last season and I thought he was great.

"I enquired about him in January, but they needed him for their Champions League squad.

"He's such a lovely kid and all, he's fitted in perfectly. What's nice for him is we've got Josh Emmanuel, Myles Kenlock, Adam McDonnell and Teddy Bishop, they're his age and peers.

"I had the conversation with him – 'I know you can play, but if you don't run around and don't put a shift in you won't play' – but he's a workaholic."

Maitland-Niles was named man of the match in Ipswich's 2-0 win over Burnley, where his corner was nodded in by McGoldrick for his side's second.

The Tractor Boys currently sit atop of the Championship having taken seven points from a possible nine.