Lino Sousa joined Arsenal’s academy from West Bromwich Albion in the January transfer window, and the highly-rated youngster has adapted quickly to his new surroundings.
After making his debut for Arsenal’s U18s as a substitute against Chelsea, Sousa was started yesterday as the young Gunners took on Leicester City.
Sousa is usually deployed as a left-back, but he is also capable of operating as a winger, and it was in the latter position that he started against the Foxes.
The match ended 1-1 and Sousa made a significant contribution by winning the penalty from which Khayon Edwards scored Arsenal’s goal.
Sousa will be hoping to establish himself as an U18 regular quickly and early signs suggest he will have plenty of opportunities in the near future.
Given his potential, the 17-year-old, who has been called up by England at youth level, could be promoted to Arsenal’s U23 side before too long.
Sousa traveled with the U21s as an extra man for their Papa John Trophy loss to Wigan Athletic, suggesting he is already on the mind of manager Kevin Betsy.
If Joel Lopez and Zak Swanson are loaned out next season, it could open the door for Sousa to establish himself as the first-choice left-back for Arsenal’s U23s next season.