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Report: The bizarre reason that Ainsley Maitland-Niles was benched for Southampton’s clash with Nottingham Forest

The England international was left out of Nathan Jones’ starting Xi

Arsenal loanee Ainsley Maitland-Niles has been dropped to the bench by Nathan Jones for Southampton’s crucial clash with Nottingham Forest after he arrived wearing the wrong team’s kit.

The Saints currently sit rock bottom of the Premier League, with just three wins and 12 points to their name, and new manager Nathan Jones has lost both of his opening two games in charge at St Mary’s since taking the hot seat vacated by Ralf Hassenhutl.

However, they face a Forest side that have also struggled, though they fought back well to claim a point against Chelsea on New Year’s day. Defeat for the home side could see them fall as far as five points away from Premier League safety, meaning that in just about every way this is a real relegation six-pointer.

But after starting in his the Saints’ 2-1 defeat to Fulham on New Years Eve, Arsenal loanee Maitland-Niles has been dropped from the side by Jones, with the England international now among the substitutes. And, as per eyewitness reports, it has come about after he arrived at the ground wearing his AS Roma training top from his previous loan spell, much to the distaste of both Jones and club captain James Ward-Prowse.

(Photo by Arron Gent/News Images) 2KE49XW Ainsley Maitland-Niles #3 of Southampton during the Carabao Cup Third Round match Southampton vs Sheffield Wednesday at St Mary’s Stadium, Southampton, United Kingdom, 9th November 2022

(Photo by Arron Gent/News Images) (Alamy Stock Photo)

Maitland-Niles spent the second half of the 2021-22 season on loan with Jose Mourinho’s side, lifting the Europa Conference League, and had begun to work his way into Jones’ plans in the South Coast after he had fallen out of favour with Ralph Hasenhuttl before he was fired.

However, those bridges appear to now have been burned, with the defender consigned to the substitutes bench for the massive clash at the bottom of the Premier League.

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Michael Smith

Content Manager on 101 Great Goals. Experienced punter, from back street, smoke filled betting shops in the 2000s, to state of the art, dedicated betting apps of the 2020s. Covering the gambling industry with expert opinion and looking at the latest innovations.

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