What's been said about Portsmouth's international trio as former Manchester United and Aston Villa legend hails keeper

It was a weekend of mixed emotions for Pompey’s international stars.

By sam cox
Sunday, 10th October 2021, 3:18 pm

Gavin Bazunu, Joe Morrell and Miguel Azeez were all called upon by their respective countries.

But after the first round of fixtures, they achieved varying degrees of success.

Bazunu once again enhanced his rising reputation – and is making a habit of doing so while representing the Republic of Ireland.

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The 19-year-old kept a clean sheet during the 3-0 victory over Azerbaijan, while producing a string of impressive saves.

And perhaps the best of the bunch came towards the game’s end when he somehow reacted to push a venomous effort onto the cross-bar, before the ball was cleared.

Such a save will come as no shock to the Fratton faithful, who’ve often watched on in awe during his short stint to date on the south coast.

And former Republic of Ireland defender Paul McGrath was full of praise for the Manchester City starlet in his Sunday World column.

Gavin Bazunu kept a clean sheet for the Republic of Ireland in their 3-0 victory over Azerbaijan. Picture: Oisin Keniry/Getty Images

McGrath said: ‘Gavin Bazunu made some good stops (against Azerbaijan) and the lad really is a cracking goalkeeping talent for a 19-year-old.

‘No wonder Manchester City have refused any offer that has come in for him.

‘They don’t need Gavin right now, so they are happy to loan him out.

‘But when Gavin is 24 and Ederson has moved on from the Etihad, who knows what might happen.’

The former Manchester United defender wasn’t the only one impressed by Bazunu’s display, as a number of fans took to Twitter to express their admiration.

@Harry_Burton said: ‘Yet another clean sheet from Gavin Bazunu. One for the future, City fans. #MCFC #Pompey’.

@brendanbelfast commented: ‘I don’t even know who Man City’s keeper is. But if he is better than Gavin Bazunu he is some boy’.

In contrast to Bazunu’s scintillating form, Blues team-mate Morrell was unable to replicate his recent Pompey form while representing Wales.

The midfielder was taken off against the Czech Republic with 30 minutes remaining as the Dragons hit a stumbling block in their quest for World Cup qualification.

Goalkeeper Danny Ward’s own-goal looked to condemn the visitors to defeat, before his blushes were spared by Daniel James’s equaliser, as Wales recorded a 2-2 draw.

However, there were differing views at full-time as to how Morrell performed in the stalemate.

@DaveRobz21 wrote on Twitter: ‘Joe Morrell had a good game tonight, Joe Allen was sloppy until we equalized. Not bad overall’.

@Tristandross said: ‘joe morrell...... i don't get it’.

@wrexhammufc commented: ‘Horrendous goal to give away and he’s got to stop persisting with Joe Morrell I’m not sure he’s ready for international football!’

Meanwhile, @SwindonImp chipped in to say: ‘All these Welsh fans moaning about Joe Morrell when it’s really the ‘keeper who’s going to keep them out of Qatar’.

Pompey’s final player in their international trifecta, Azeez, put his recent injury behind him as he played 17 minutes for England under-20s as a second-half substitute in their 1-1 draw with Italy.

Twitter user @HaleSam2444 was pleased to see his return from injury.

He wrote: ‘Great to see @MiguelAzeez back from injury and repping England, all the best at Portsmouth for the rest of the season!’

But more importantly, Pompey boss Danny Cowley said: ‘It made sense for him to go and they have wrapped him up in cotton wool for the first few days, hence why he only came off the bench against Italy.

‘They’ve got another game against the Czech Republic Monday and he may start in that.’