Portsmouth manager Danny Cowley has confirmed to Hampshire Live that the parent clubs of all five of the side’s loanees, including Arsenal starlet Miguel Azeez, hold ‘recall clauses’ in the deals.
The League One outfit currently have Azeez, goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu, forwards Gassan Ahadme and George Hirst, as well as right-back Mahlon Romeo on loan.
A recall option for 18-year-old Azeez could prove to be particularly helpful for Arsenal…
The north London outfit only appear to be counting on four central midfield options right now in Granit Xhaka, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny.
With established internationals Partey and Elneny facing the prospect of Africa Cup of Nations duty in January, that would whittle Mikel Arteta down to just two options for the middle of the park.
Cowley has already admitted that he saw Azeez as the ‘fifth choice’ central midfielder for the Gunners this season, before managing to strike a loan coup for Portsmouth, according to Hampshire Live.
Azeez is has been with the England Under-20s during the international break:
Successful International break ending with a win? pic.twitter.com/HYsIrZkA1o
— Miguel Azeez (@MiguelAzeez) September 7, 2021
Cowley confirmed the presence of recall clauses for Portsmouth’s five loanees to Hampshire Live:
“All loan players tend to have recall clauses, they all tend to have them, but, most of them are on our terms and there are specific dates.”
Azeez has yet to debut for Portsmouth since arriving on loan, with the international break coming about soon after his move.
He did start and play the entire 90 minutes for the Arsenal Under-23s’ first two Premier League 2 fixtures of the season before heading out to the coast though.
Should Partey and Elneny, both regulars for their country, be called up for AFCON, the Gunners’ midfield ranks will be dangerously depleted and calling back another option like Azeez could bail them out.
With Azeez seemingly starting to knock on the first-team door at Arsenal during a summer in which he scored a pre-season stunner against Watford and completed an impressive physical transformation, as proven by Cowley’s ‘fifth choice’ expectation, the youngster may well get a chance for the Gunners.
Portsmouth hopefully won’t find themselves too hard done by should Azeez or any of their other loanees be recalled by their parent clubs as Cowley reiterated that most of the clauses are on their ‘terms’.