Maitland-Niles was a regular for Ipswich until mid-March, but has not featured in the club’s last four games with his career seemingly taking a turn for the worse.
According to a report in The Sun, the 18-year-old’s mother Jule “left a lengthy tirade on McCarthy’s mobile phone”, all because The FA apparently wanted him at an England U19 kit launch while the Ipswich boss preferred for him to stay and prepare for a midweek match.
The report states that, in regards to Jule’s phone call to McCarthy, “the content was so abusive and so threatening that the Ipswich boss decided to drop Maitland-Niles for the clash with Blackburn on March 15".
Following on from his omission for the Blackburn game, Maitland-Niles was also been left out for the defeat against Rotherham at Portman Road on March 19 and has not represented his loan club since.
According to The Sun, McCarthy “was so shocked when he listened to his message from the mother that he asked coaching staff to listen ‘to make sure I’m not going mad’" and Arsenal staff have been made aware of the “extraordinary incident”.
The paper quotes an ‘Arsenal source’ as saying: "Mick's a Yorkshireman and he's prepared to tolerate most things, but not something like this.
The language was disgusting and so poisonous that it even shocked Mick.
"He's only ever tried to do what's right for the kid and protect his career, but this is something new to him.
"He likes the boy and thinks he has potential to be a top player, but he's worried that his mother is having a detrimental effect on his career."
Maitland-Niles joined Ipswich on a season-long loan on July 2 last year and scored his first ever senior goal in a 2-0 win over Bolton in November.
This is a sad situation, both for Ipswich and the player. Maitland-Niles began his career at Ipswich in electrifying fashion but, like Ipswich's faltering season of late, has seen the hope and optimism of his campaign slowly dissipate. His exclusion from the team had been somewhat of a mystery for Ipswich fans but this story, if factually correct, explains an awful lot. The winger can count himself lucky that McCarthy is one of the more understanding managers in English football, but if the reports are true, even he may have found this 'extraordinary incident' too much to brush aside. If he is frozen out for the remainder of the season, Arsenal have some big decisions to make over the summer regarding his future.