Miguel Azeez looks set to sign a new long-term professional deal with Arsenal next month, and he spoke to the club for the matchday programme about his journey so far.
Azeez is one of Arsenal’s top talents in the academy, already way ahead of many of his peers. The midfielder has made 16 appearances for the u18s, receiving his debut for the side just weeks after he turned 15.
The now 16-year-old even played his first games for the u23s in pre-season, featuring against Boreham Wood and Barnet’s senior sides and playing well on both occasions. No wonder there’s talk of an agreement over a three-year deal with an option for two more on the table for Azeez to sign on his birthday next month.
The England u17 international spoke to the Arsenal matchday programme last week about how he came to be at the club in the first place.
“I was playing for my local club in Harrow at the time and one day I stayed behind after training and there was a scout called Paul Whitehead who approached me and my dad and asked if I could come to an Arsenal training session at Hale End for a week-long trial,” Azeez recalled.
“I played one game in my full Brazil kit because I was so excited, and after that game, they asked if they could sign me. To this day it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me.
“I was trying not to cry, but I was just so excited to tell all my friends at school the next day!
“It’s so motivating to be here because you know that there’s a clear pathway from Hale End to London Colney – and eventually into the first team. It’s even more encouraging now that Per’s here too. He’s been with the first team, so he knows what it takes to play for Arsenal.”
Azeez has three goals and three assists in his u18 appearances so far, despite often playing a deeper role in midfield. He’s strong on the ball with great technique in his passing and close control, and he can play with either foot pretty well.
This season will be a chance for the teenager to really cement a starting spot at u18 level, before maybe getting some more opportunities in the u23s as the campaign progresses.