Allardyce believes it's important to remember Maitland-Niles has spent a large chunk of his career playing in defence.
And he says he will become more clinical the more he plays in midfield.
“Ainsley's game is starting to get better and better," the boss said. “I said to him the other week when he arrived – he was dropped in a full-back role, filling in, which wasn't his position and he never saw it as his position.
“Because he's had many years of nearly always playing in that position and not playing where he wanted to play, other clubs have only ever seen him as a full-back and I think even England played him there.
“He wants to play in midfield for us, he's got the energy to do and he has excellent ability with both feet.
“There's got to be a better finishing quality about him.
“Like any attacking midfielder who plays box to box, he needs to be making assists and scoring goals – that is what he needs to keep working in.
“But by him not playing often enough in midfield, that is something that will hopefully come to him quickly.
“His overall game I'm very pleased with, hopefully he'll just get a bit better.
“He is going to keep playing in midfield for us.
“I think the only way he'd ever play full-back would be on the back of injuries and suspensions."
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