When Miguel Azeez’s loan switch to Portsmouth was announced it was anticipated that it could be a hugely beneficial move for the highly-rated midfielder.
So far, however, Azeez’s first experience of life away from Arsenal has been a rather frustrating one.
Azeez played 59 minutes in Portsmouth’s 2-1 defeat to Cambridge United in September and hasn’t featured since. He was unavailable for a couple of games but has been an unused substitute for the last four matches in a row.
One reason behind Azeez’s lack of game time may be the fact that the defensive side of his game requires improvement as he still has a tendency to squander possession in dangerous areas.
However, Portsmouth must surely have been aware of this flaw in Azeez’s game when they signed him, and it is difficult to expect him to improve significantly in that regard without playing.
There is a lot to like about Azeez’s playing style, such as his passing, dribbling and his ability to find the net in spectacular fashion. It is clear, though, that the 19-year-old still has a lot of work to do if he is to succeed at the highest level.
Arsenal will undoubtedly be monitoring Azeez’s situation closely and if this problem persists then it seems likely that he could be recalled in January. If that was to be the case then it wouldn’t have been an entirely wasted experience as he will have experienced different methods of training and seen the pressure of League One football.
It is vital that Azeez is playing regularly in the second half of the season. Perhaps a loan to a foreign club could be beneficial but it is clear that something needs to change to accelerate Azeez’s development and get the best out of him.