Lino Sousa joined Arsenal’s academy from West Bromwich Albion during the January transfer window, and the highly rated youngster has adapted quickly to his new surroundings.
After making his debut for Arsenal U18s as a substitute against Chelsea, Sousa was given his first start 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 game ended 1-1 and Sousa made a significant contribution as he won the penalty from which Khayon Edwards scored Arsenal’s goal.
Sousa will hope to quickly establish himself as a regular in the U18s and the early signs suggest that he will get 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 squad before too long.
Sousa travelled with the U21s as the extra man for their Papa John’s Trophy defeat to Wigan Athletic, which suggests that he is already in the thoughts of coach Kevin Betsy.
If Joel Lopez and Zak Swanson go on loan next season then it could open the door for Sousa to establish himself as the first-choice left sided defender for Arsenal U23s next season.