Miguel Azeez finally made his return to the pitch on Tuesday night, and manager Danny Cowley insists Arsenal are happy with his loan.
Last week, we addressed the growing issue of Miguel Azeez’s minutes at Portsmouth. The midfielder hadn’t spent a second on the pitch since his debut on September 18th, despite being fit to make the squad on six separate occasions.
Football.London then reported that Arsenal were considering recalling Azeez in the January transfer window over his lack of game time. But right on cue, Azeez played his first minutes in over a month, coming off the bench on Tuesday night.
In a cameo 17-minute showing, Azeez created one chance, had two shots, and completed eight of his nine passes. Portsmouth boss Danny Cowley suggested afterwards that he was pleased with the teenager’s efforts.
“I thought Miguel was bright against Cheltenham last night,” Cowley said. “He has worked really hard on his game behind the scenes, it’s so different to the football he knows. He’s been trying to build up physically, and build his intensity and combativeness.
“He earned it last night. Reeco was tired and it was an opportunity for him to come in and impact the team.”
As for the talk about the problems with Arsenal and a possible recall, Cowley insists there’s nothing to the story, and the Gunners are happy with how things are going for Azeez so far.
“There have been no issues with Arsenal,” Cowley added. “We speak to them regularly, we have very good dialogue with them and a very good relationship.
“They know we are working really, really hard with Miguel and I think they believe this has been a brilliant loan for him to this point.
“They trust me and know we are desperate for Miguel to be a success here, that’s why we have brought him in.
“We are also respectful that he’s only a young boy – aged 19 – and has never seen this level of football before. He’s just learning and working out how he can use his skill set and be effective at this level.”
Notably, The News report that Arsenal have given permission for Azeez to feature for Portsmouth in the FA Cup on Saturday. That will leave him cup-tied if he leaves Portsmouth, so it could be a sign that they’re willing to continue the loan.
As for Azeez himself, his post-match tweet focused entirely on the match and the supporters.
2 points lost last night, need to be better and push harder. Fans were amazing as always👏🏽 pic.twitter.com/IxQVA5myoC
— Miguel Azeez (@MiguelAzeez) November 3, 2021