Arsenal talent Miguel Azeez has told Guillem Balague that Per Mertesacker is attempting to turn him in to a holding midfielder.
Azeez, 18, has been with Arsenal since the age of five, and seem to be very highly rated in the Gunners setup.
Having seen Joe Willock, Bukayo Saka, Reiss Nelson and Eddie Nketiah play first-team football under Eddie Nketiah, Arsenal kids will have dreams of playing under Mikel Arteta.
Azeez will be the same, and after playing 17 games this season, it seems that he is being picked out for a future role in the Arsenal setup.
The teenager has spoken to Balague about his short career so far, and has admitted that he has been changing his position this season.
Azeez was a box-to-box midfield player, but has been switching to play as more of a holding midfielder or deep-lying playmaker this term.
Azeez claims that Arsenal academy manager Per Mertesacker is the one who has transitioned him into that deeper role, and it’s for one big reason.
Mertesacker feels that Azeez has a chance to play in the Arsenal first team as a number six, and wanted to mould him into that role in order to aid Arteta’s setup.
“I’m a midfielder, I’ve always said that – I’m a midfielder. I can do holding midfield, attacking midfield or more central,” said Azeez. “At the moment, I’m mainly playing as a CDM, so like a number six or an eight. I’ve always said that I can do all three, so I’m a midfielder.”
“Per Mertesacker, he said he’s seen a specific trait I have, which is obviously that I’ve got a good range of passing as well as that I can run a lot. He said that there could be an opportunity in the first team in that position,” he added.
Arsenal are being heavily linked with Thomas Partey, in order to provide Arteta with more steel in the midfield engine room, but Azeez looks to have a huge future.
If Mertesacker can keep developing Azeez in that holding role, the Gunners could have another homegrown starter – and save some money in the process.