Portsmouth boss ready to plunder Arsenal's pool of emerging talent once again

Danny Cowley has his eye on a swathe of Arsenal’s exciting emerging talent.

Saturday, 9th October 2021, 1:37 pm

The Pompey boss is considering plundering the Gunners once again, to strengthen his own options with the Londoner’s promising pool of youngsters.

Cowley took in the Premier League side’s under-23 side, as they drew 1-1 in the Premier League Cup at Bournemouth on Wednesday night.

The 42-year-old has previously helped the progress of Emile Smith Rowe when at Huddersfield and brought England under-20 midfielder Miguel Azeez down the A3 this summer.

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Right-back Zak Swanson was on the scoresheet at the Vitality Stadium, with teenager Omari Hutchinson providing a delightful backheel assist.

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Winger Joel Idaho is also making waves at the Emirates and has been called up to Mikel Arteta’s first-team, while Omar Rekik, the brother of former Pompey loanee and and Sevilla defender Karim, is progressing well.

Cowley confirmed there were a number of players involved he’s keeping a close eye on.

Defender Omar Rekik was watched by Danny Cowley on Wednesday night. (Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images)

He said: ‘I watched Bournemouth under-23s against Arsenal on Wednesday night.

‘It’s always good to keep a good eye on the young players in the Premier League and Championship club.

‘Going back to the summer window, it was almost impossible to get to watch these development games because of the pandemic.

‘There’s nothing better than watching players live when you’re making decisions.

‘I don’t like to recruit players unless I’ve watched them live on a number of occasions.

‘There were four who were of interest to us, so it gave us an opportunity to watch them.’

Chief executive Andy Cullen confirmed Pompey have already overspent on their playing budget this summer, and will have to be ‘creative’ in their January recruitment.

The loan market is an obvious route to explore, although the Blues already have five temporary players - the maximum allowed in a matchday squad.

That doesn’t mean Cowley will not be revisiting that avenue moving forward, as their scouting work continues apace.

He added: ‘Normally our scouts watch the games and identify players.

‘If they fit the remit for what we’re looking for Nicky, myself or our coaching staff will go out and look at the player in a bit more detail.’

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