Arsenal U21s have lacked consistency as a team this season but Lino Sousa has often delivered impressive performances.
The left-back is still eligible to represent the U18s this season but has long since established himself as a key player for the U21s having impressed since joining from West Bromwich Albion midway through last season.
The U21s drew 1-1 against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Friday night, with Sousa putting in an excellent display.
18-year-old Sousa carries the authority of a senior player with his determined performances and although there are some occasions when he can get caught out of position, he usually performs to a very high standard.
An England U18 international, Sousa reads the game very well and is effective both defensively and in an attacking sense. He has also shown that he can perform the inverted full-back role to good effect at youth level.
Sousa was on the bench for the first-team away to Brentford earlier in the season, with his callup somewhat overshadowed by Ethan Nwaneri’s debut.
The next step for Sousa is inevitably further involvement in senior football and a loan move would surely be beneficial for him next season.
Sousa isn’t eligible to be called up for Arsenal in European competitions until December, so he wouldn’t be able to be named on the bench in such matches in the first half of next season.
Therefore a loan switch could suit Sousa and he may well be ready for a stint in the Championship.
The prospect certainly seems well equipped for a career in senior football, whether at Arsenal or elsewhere.