Portsmouth transfer verdict: Arsenal's Miguel Azeez would show why he's so highly rated should he arrive at Fratton Park

Pompey fans will learn why there is so much 'hype' surrounding Arsenal prospect Miguel Azeez should he seal his anticipated Fratton Park loan switch.

Friday, 27th August 2021, 2:00 pm

That's the verdict of freelance Gunners commentator, Max Jones, who has no doubt the 18-year-old could have a big PO4 impact.

Sign up to our Portsmouth FC newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

And should the Blues head coach get his wish, Jones believes the Gunners man would have no problem slotting in at League One level and making an impact.

Azeez is one of the top-rated bright young things within the Arsenal academy set up at present.

Jones admits it could take time for him to settle in and become a Blues regular.

But once that is achieved, he feels Azeez would undoubtedly flourish at Fratton Park.

Arsenal youngster Miguel Azeez. Picture: James Chance/Getty Images

Jones said: ‘Every year you can kind of identify the ones who are going to do well. We had (Bukayo) Saka earmarked from when he was 14 just as a media team.

‘Miguel is another one of them. I’m not saying he’s going to go on and have the same career as Saka - but he’s one of those who stands out in his age category.

‘You’ve got him, there’s another lad called Charlie Patino, and the two of them have been putting together a partnership for the under-23s.

‘It’s a shame that has to end so prematurely, but it would be great for Miguel to get an opportunity in senior football.

‘I don’t expect Miguel to slot straight in, I think it’s going to take a bit of time.

‘But with the nature of that league, and he is still joining in August, I’m sure, given the opportunity, Pompey fans will be able to see and understand exactly why there is so much hype around him because he is a real talent.’

Jones told how Azeez has operated in various midfield roles as he has made his way through the Gunners’ academy set-up.

Initially starting out as a number 10, Azeez played in a deep-lying role when making his first-team bow in a Europa League meeting with Dundalk last December.

But Jones reckons he's best suited to a box-to-box midfield position.

And he believes Cowley's willingness to allow Emile Smith-Rowe the freedom to express himself while working with him during his time at Huddersfield could persuade the Gunners to allow Azeez to join Pompey on a temporary move.

Jones added: ‘He’s played in all midfield guises throughout his time in the academy.

‘Early doors he started playing as a number 10, they then dropped him back to being a number eight - box to box, being able to cover a lot of ground.

‘When he made his first-team debut against Dundalk he was playing a deeper lying midfield role, shielding the back four.

‘I wouldn’t expect him to do that role for Portsmouth. I would expect him to go in as a box-to-box player, but maybe with a bit more freedom.

‘Given how good Danny Cowley was for Emile Smith-Rowe’s development at Huddersfield, one of the things Arsenal liked most about that move was that Cowley trusted Smith-Rowe despite the fact he was only 18 or 19 at the time.

‘Cowley allowed him to go out and express himself.

‘Hopefully, he’d give Miguel the opportunity to do the same thing.’