Arsenal have made sure that Miguel Azeez’s loan deal with Portsmouth contained a recall clause.

Miguel Azeez via Portsmouth
Miguel Azeez via Portsmouth

On 30 August, Arsenal confirmed that Miguel Azeez will spend the season on loan with Portsmouth.

Now, Football.London report Arsenal inserted a recall clause, wary that Thomas Partey

“Miguel is going to be a top, top player. He is still young, we have all got to remember that he is only 18, he’s not 19 until next month but he’s a confident boy,” Portsmouth manager, Danny Cowley, who also managed Emile Smith Rowe, told HampshireLive, via Football.London.

“He’s got real belief and so he should because he’s incredibly competent. He’s got fantastic talent. We weren’t sure [of a deal]. We knew of him because Ben Knapper (Arsenal’s loan manager) had highlighted that he was going to be the next one.

“I think it’s been well publicised that we have got a good relationship with Arsenal, they felt we looked after Emile [Smith Rowe] in a good way. Being totally honest, it’s nice to take credit for Emile [Smith Rowe], I don’t think we deserve any. We just gave him a platform and an opportunity, that is the truth. We looked after him off the pitch. We helped him a little bit against the ball as well. The rest of it, he did himself.

“Ben [Knapper] highlighted him to us but we weren’t quite sure it would be possible, there was a lot of Championship interest and we also felt that maybe, that he would stay at Arsenal because he looked like their fifth choice (central midfield).

“They wanted to take a long-term view on him because they think so much of him as a player and he needs that stimulus, he needs that challenge. He is one of those boys I think will aspire to the challenge.

“If you watch the performances in the Papa John’s Cup last year, competitive football, and he came on just for a short period when he played in the first team against Dundalk and in pre-season. He’s one whose performances can spike with the increase in stimulus and challenge. We are really looking forward to seeing what he can do with us.”

Miguel Azeez (L) and Brooke Norton-Cuffy celebrate Azeez's goal against Ebbsfleet United (Photo by Dan Critchlow)
Miguel Azeez (L) and Brooke Norton-Cuffy celebrate Azeez’s goal against Ebbsfleet United (Photo by Dan Critchlow)

Before the summer really got going, it was reported that Arsenal were expecting to give Miguel Azeez more of a role with the first-team this season but it seems they re-thought things.

The teenager made his Arsenal debut in the Europa League last season, and he enjoyed a strong campaign with the academy. More recently, he scored a bit of a wonder-goal in his last game of 2020/21.

Azeez still has areas for improvement in his game, particularly when it comes to losing the ball in areas where he shouldn’t. But his quality is undeniable and it’s inevitable that he will end up getting a senior chance at Arsenal sooner or later.

Azeez told the Portsmouth site, “I’m really pleased to be here. There’s been a lot of buzz about this move and I’m grateful to the manager for giving me his trust.

“It’s important for me to get a lot of minutes this season and I’ve spoken to Emile about working with Danny.

“I got some really good feedback, so I’m looking forward to working with him and all the staff here at the club.

“I’ve been at Arsenal since the age of five and have had a lot of good coaches there to keep me grounded.

Miguel Azeez (Photo via Azeez on Instagram)
Miguel Azeez (Photo via Azeez on Instagram)

“Now I feel it’s important for me to get experience of men’s football and take the next step in my career.

“This is going to help me build – physically, mentally and tactically. I’m hopeful it can stand me in good stead.

“I’m a midfielder who likes to create and score goals, while always giving the best account of myself. I want to win every game that I play.

“I want to show the fans what I can bring to the team and help get Pompey back into the Championship.

“I’ve watched some of the games and seen the players that are here, so now I’m looking to getting out there in front of the fans.

“I’ve seen so many videos of them and the atmosphere looks crazy. I thrive on that and it was an important reason for me coming here.”

Speaking about the deal, Danny Cowley said at the time the signing was announced, “This is a deal that we’ve been working on for the majority of the summer and so we’re delighted.

“Arsenal have been really good and we have to thank them for putting their trust in us with another young player.

“We’d worked with Emile Smith Rowe before and the loan manager Ben Knapper highlighted Miguel when we first arrived at Pompey, saying he was the next one for us to look after.

“So we’ve seen him develop since then and fallen in love with him – as you do when you see a boy who’s as talented as he is.

“You can see the hunger and humility to learn and get better, which we really like. He’s really studious and wants to find ways to improve his performance.

“We think the supporters will like Miguel and he’s very good at dribbling, while he can be a real goal threat for us as well.”

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