Portsmouth manager Danny Cowley handed a debut to Arsenal loanee Miguel Azeez in their 2-1 defeat to Cambridge United on Saturday.
Cowley believes the teenager will learn a lot from his debut as Portsmouth fell to defeat at Fratton Park on Saturday. The 18-year-old was handed his full debut but was replaced by Louis Thompson just before the hour mark.
The England Under-20’s international arrived at Portsmouth with high praise in what is his first taste of senior football.
Aside from a cameo appearance for Arsenal in the Europa League last season against Dundalk, Azeez has not had any experience of men’s football having been restricted to under-18’s and under-23 games.
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Having taken Emile Smith-Rowe to Huddersfield in the 2019-20 campaign, Cowley has been entrusted with the development of one of the Gunners’ academy starlets for the whole season, however his debut wasn’t the greatest of starts at Pompey.
But Cowley is confident that Azeez will learn a lot in the defeat to Cambridge United as the midfielder had the second-fewest touches of any Portsmouth player that started the game.
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Cowley told HampshireLive: “Miguel is just a young player and he is finding his way in professional football,”
“Today was a tough start, this is the life of a professional footballer. It is not always easy.
“He’s a top player and he will learn a lot from today.”
It was Portsmouth’s third defeat of the season which left them in 15th but just three points off the playoffs.
As Danny Cowley rightly pointed out, this defeat will help Miguel Azeez learn a lot in senior football.
It’s important not to expect too much from the youngster too soon, but whilst he had the fewest touches, he was still very tidy with the ball at his feet and with his passing.
With Portsmouth having an off day themselves, it was always going to be difficult for Azeez to impose himself on the game. As Danny Cowley’s side start to improve, you can expect the teenager to improve with them.