Portsmouth head coach Danny Cowley has confirmed he was watching multiple Arsenal players with a view to signing them when the January transfer window reopens.
Cowley was spotted at the Gunners’ under-23 clash with Bournemouth on Wednesday in a match that ended 1-1, and having already taken Miguel Azeez on loan for the season many had a hunch that he was there to window shop.
Pompey have been rather inconsistent this season so far and Cowley could be looking very early to freshen his charges up when the mid-season window opens once again, but he has already signed five loan players this season.
That is the maximum amount of loan players you can use in a matchday squad in the EFL however there is nothing stopping the club ending some of those deals early.
In that case Pompey could then strike up a deal for some of Arsenal’s youngsters, with Cowley revealing that he has his eye on more than one of Mikel Arteta’s talents.
“It’s always good to keep a good eye on the young players in the Premier League and Championship,” Cowley said, per the Portsmouth News.
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“Going back to the summer window, it was almost impossible to get to watch these development games because of the pandemic.
“There’s nothing better than watching players live when you’re making decisions.
“I don’t like to recruit players unless I’ve watched them live on a number of occasions.
“There were four who were of interest to us, so it gave us an opportunity to watch them.”
It’s clear that Arsenal trust Cowley when it comes to nurturing their talent and there could be more on the way in January.
He was entrusted with Emile Smith-Rowe at Huddersfield and now Azeez is getting experience at Fratton Park, although he has only played once so far.
A few spots could open up in Cowley’s squad in the mid-season window with neither Gassan Ahadme or George Hurst doing much on loan from Norwich and Leicester respectively and those loan spots could be better used.
And having one of the best academies in the country means that Arsenal have plenty of talent that would be of interest to Cowley and Pompey so don’t be surprised to see one or two young Gunners head to the south coast in a few months time.