Southampton boss Hasenhuttl explains Maitland-Niles absence for Aston Villa defeat

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl says Arsenal loanee Ainsley Maitland-Niles isn’t ready to start in the Premier League.

The versatile ace penned a season-long loan deal with the Saints on deadline day, making his debut as a substitute in the 1-0 loss to Wolves earlier this month.

Despite his recent arrival Maitland-Niles, 25, was nowhere to be seen as his side fell to Aston Villa last night.

Explaining why his new signing did not make the matchday squad, Hasenhuttl said: “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.”