Miguel Azeez: Who is the rising star?
CRAWLEY, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 13: Miguel Azeez celebrates scoring Arsenal's 2nd goal during the EFL Trophy Group Stage match between Crawley Town and Arsenal U21 at The Peoples Pension Stadium on October 13, 2020 in Crawley, England. (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Miguel Azeez at only 18 years of age has already been turning heads at Youth level for Arsenal. 

The central midfielder has been with the club since he was five and was already playing U18s level at 15, while when he was 17, he was quickly promoted to the U23s.

This rise through the ranks has been noticed by those at the top and would have been at the forefront of Mikel Arteta's mind when selecting him in the UEFA Europa League squad for the away tie with Molde tomorrow evening.

  • Style Of Play

Azeez's primary position is as a central midfielder, playing directly in the middle of the park, though he likes to drive forward in attack as well.

The player himself has said in an interview  that he bases his game on Barcelona's veteran midfielder, Sergio Busquets and Arsenal's ex-captain, Patrick Vieira.

"One of my idols is Sergio Busquets. For me I like to put some of his game into mine.

"When players run at 100mph they can't really look at what is going on and sometimes you need to play with a little bit of composure. I always thought Patrick Vieira was a good player in that position as well."

Based on these quotes, it would appear Arteta has a real all-rounder in his ranks who if needed would be able to fill in as both a defensive midfielder and one who can play in a more advanced position, similar to Thomas Partey in many ways.

As a player who likes to drive forward, he also likes to shot from range too, including a wonder strike back in October against Crawley Town in the EFL Trophy, which he hit from about 20 yards out into the bottom corner.

Adhering to the Arsenal philosophy he also has a great eye for a pass both on the ground and long range in the air.

Reports suggest that Per Mertesacker wants to play him deeper, but with the qualities he possess and the creativity issues which Arteta is currently having, could an opportunity potentially arrive in the first team for Azeez in a number eight or even ten position?

  • Confidence

He has previously spoken about his ambitions to play at the top level for both club and country.

The self-confidence is something to be admired from the young midfielder who genuinely believes in his progress, stating in an interview that this is because of his work rate and attitude to never doubt himself.

"I never doubt myself because if you have doubts it's hard to reach your top potential."

In an interview with Gunners Town's Dave Seager, Arsenal Youth expert John Williamson has even talked up the idea of the captaincy.

"I feel he could be captain material in years to come, he knows what he wants from those around him and on the pitch, he isn't afraid to speak his mind."

A big criticism of Arsenal in recent years has been a lack of leaders. If Azeez is as confident as we are led to believe, at such a young age, then the club could have a real leader on their hands.

  • Chances Will Come

Azeez back in the summer said of Mertesacker's belief that chances for the youngster will come soon.

"Per Mertesacker has told me to keep believing because an opportunity will arise for me in the first team and when it does I will grab it with both hands."

Whether he gets minutes or not Thursday night, the squad inclusion will still be a statement of backing from Arteta. 

With the likelihood of qualifying for the next round high, there well may be two more group games to get chances, as well as the Gunners still being in both the domestic cup competitions.

So far, Azeez's footballing growth as been an extradionary one, which has impressed those at all levels of the club, and once he gets that first run out in Arteta's side, the chances in the first team will just keep coming for the talented midfield star.