Born: 24 May 2001 (Auxerre, France)
Maxi Tainio is a versatile player who can operate either in midfield or at right-back.
The 2018/19 season saw him play nine times in the Under-18 Premier League, four times in the Under-18 Premier League Cup and once in the FA Youth Cup in an extra-time victory at Millwall. He stepped up to make his debut for the Under-23s in a Premier League 2 victory at Manchester City in December, 2018, and in his second appearance at that level - in a Premier League International Cup tie at Norwich in January, 2019 - he came off the bench and ended up playing in goal following an injury to Brandon Austin with all three permitted substitutions already made, even making a couple of important saves to preserve a point from a 2-2 draw. Unfortunately, he spent the last few months of that season out injured.
The son of our former midfielder Teemu Tainio, Maxi was born in Auxerre in France and is a Finnish youth international, having featured for their Under-19s, Under-18s, Under-17s, Under-16s and Under-15s. He has previously lived in Finland, USA and the Netherlands while he was playing in 2016/17 for HJK in Finland.
He had to be patient in waiting for his opportunities during the opening months of 2017/18 but was playing regularly for our Under-18s by the end of that campaign as we finished with a flourish. Showing good energy at right-back, he featured in five of our last six Under-18 Premier League games, including big wins over Chelsea and Arsenal, and was named Defender of the Tournament at the Under-17 Borgaro Maggioni Righi competition in Italy over the Easter weekend in 2018. He ended that season with seven Under-18s appearances under his belt in all competitions.