Arsenal have recalled youngster Miguel Azeez from his loan spell at Portsmouth amid their growing crisis in midfield.
Granit Xhaka joined Arsenal’s absentee list for Sunday’s North London derby against Tottenham after being sent off in Thursday night’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg away to Liverpool.
Mikel Arteta already knew he would be without Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny who are on duty for the Africa Cup of Nations.
Arsenal have decided to recall Miguel Azeez from his loan spell at Portsmouth amid the midfield crisis
The teenager will strengthen his options amid injuries, Covid cases and AFCON players
Martin Odegaard, another possible option in central midfield, missed the Liverpool game after testing positive for Covid while the trip to Spurs could come too soon for Emile Smith Rowe who has battled a groin problem and missed Arsenal’s last two games.
Azeez, 19, joined Portsmouth on a season-long loan in August but that has now been cut short with Arteta’s midfield options slim on the pitch.
England youth international Azeez has made 10 appearances for the League One side and has been increasingly involved recently.
Azeez made his Arsenal debut against Dundalk in the Europa League in December 2020 and is a player they have high hopes for.
They want to assess how he has developed after his first spell away from the club before deciding whether he stays for the rest of the season or is loaned out for the second half of the campaign.
Arteta struggles to field players in his midfield ahead of crucial derby with Tottenham