Rising Arsenal star's Portsmouth 'disappointment' as he vows to learn from 'scrappy' football experience

Miguel Azeez believes he’s a better player for his ‘disappointing’ Pompey experience.

By Jordan Cross
Wednesday, 18th May 2022, 1:12 pm
Miguel Azeez
Miguel Azeez

And the Arsenal midfielder believes he will improve from playing ‘scrappy’ League One football.

Azeez arrived at Fratton Park with high hopes surrounding him last August, as Danny Cowley agreed a season-long loan deal with the Gunners.

That stay was cut short in January, with the 19-year-old making just 11 appearances and four starts in the league.

Sign up to our Portsmouth FC newsletter

Azeez’s stay at Pompey failed to meet expectations for all parties, but he wants to take the learning from what unfolded and gain regular first-team football moving forward.

He told football.london; ‘I feel like definitely since I’ve come back from the Portsmouth experience I’ve grown as a person and physically as well.

‘I’ve learnt different aspects of football, the more scrappy element, because that’s how they play in League One, and dealing with disappointments.

‘I enjoyed the (Cambridge) game. Playing against men is a different environment to playing with 23s players. I enjoyed the experience of playing against men and I wanted to push on from there.

‘I want to play the full season in men’s football, wherever that is.

‘Whether that’s here, or someone else, it is what it is, but that’s the main goal for me.’

Arsenal under-23 head coach, Kevin Betsy, felt Azeez had endured a difficult Pompey stay, but he still drew positives from returning to age-group football over the second half of the season.

He said: ‘In terms of Miguel, he came back having not had a fantastic experience at Portsmouth in terms of game time, but a really good learning one for him, so for him it was about getting him up to match speed

‘In the first couple of games we discussed how it’s not going to be easy, 23s football is still very competitive, and you’re not going to be able to put your foot on the ball, and control things and win second balls because you aren’t match fit enough yet.

‘But with every game that came he improved his level, and then we flipped him around,

sometimes to play deeper roles to challenge him on the 360 and work on his defensive actions, and other times in the eight so can also get his attributes where he’s good at goalscoring.’