Miguel Azeez might have less than 90 minutes of football under his belt since joining Portsmouth on loan but manager Danny Cowley insists Arsenal are supportive of the way the 19-year-old is being utilised.
Azeez made just his second Pompey appearance in Tuesday night’s draw with Cheltenham Town, a 17-minute cameo off the bench, having not featured for the League One side since September.
Reports have suggested that the Gunners could pull the plug on the loan deal – something we’ve done before when players haven’t been played – but Cowley maintains his relationship with his Premier League overlords remains on a firm footing.
Fielding questions from local publication The News, he said: “I thought Miguel was bright against Cheltenham.
“He has worked really hard on his game behind the scenes, it’s so different to the football he knows. He’s been trying to build up physically, and build his intensity and combativeness.
“He earned it last night. Reeco [Hackett-Fairchild] was tired and it was an opportunity for him to come in and impact the team.
“There have been no issues with Arsenal. We speak to them regularly, we have very good dialogue with them and a very good relationship.
“They know we are working really, really hard with Miguel and I think they believe this has been a brilliant loan for him to this point.
“They trust me and know we are desperate for Miguel to be a success here, that’s why we have brought him in.
“We are also respectful that he’s only a young boy – aged 19 – and has never seen this level of football before. He’s just learning and working out how he can use his skill set and be effective at this level.”
Arsenal’s trust in Cowley stems from the way he nurtured Emile Smith Rowe during the midfielder’s six-month stint with the club in 2020.