After bursting onto the scene at Arsenal as a fresh-faced teenager, Cesc Fabregas developed into one of the finest midfielders of the Premier League era.
The Spaniard would rack up an incredible number of assists in his seasons both at Highbury and the Emirates – 92 to be precise – before he eventually left for Barcelona.
Since then, a number of players have tried to take his throne as the Gunners’ next big thing in the middle of the park, not least Jack Wilshere. Injuries of course stopped the English ace from realising his full potential, but in 18-year-old Miguel Azeez, Mikel Arteta may finally have Arsenal’s perfect successor to Fabregas.
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Described as “phenomenal“, Azeez possess a lot of the same characteristics that made Fabregas stand out at such an early age. The play-maker can operate deeper in midfield as well as further forward, and Football.London paint a very impressive picture of the kind of player that he is.
They wrote: “He possess excellent technique, which can see him cause real trouble in and around the box. He is known for his impressive final ball, but also has a keen an eye for goal.”
Arsenal youth expert John Williamson spoke to that innate leadership skills in Azeez, saying: “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.”
That maturity and responsibility, as well as his enormous talent, is something that has already turning heads by those already in the dressing room at the Emirates, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang himself name-checking him as one for the future earlier this season.
The Arsenal captain said: “We saw a few more young players in our last European game and we also have them joining with training quite a lot lately and one player who I think looks really good is Miguel Azeez.
“Miguel is going to be a great player in the future. He’s really calm and mature so I’m sure he’s got what you need to be a success and have a big career.”
With the seal of approval from Aubameyang himself, it’s fair to say those within the club are already impressed by what the teenager could potentially offer.
Filling in Fabregas’ shoes is a massive ask for anyone, but Azeez seems to have the talent and level-headedness to deal with that kind of expectation on his shoulders.