Lino Sousa set to benefit from Joel Lopez’s departure

Lino Sousa has already made a significant amount of progress since joining Arsenal from West Bromwich Albion in January and the defender has now received a further boost.

The departure of Joel Lopez means that Sousa is set to be Arsenal’s first-choice left-back at U23 level this season and he will hope to edge closer to the first-team.

It is possible that Henry Jeffcott, who has been offered a professional deal, could revert to being a left-back after mainly playing as a left-sided centre-back for the U18s last season.

However, it is anticipated that Sousa will be the player who features most prominently at left-back.

Towards the end of last season Sousa broke into the U23 side and instantly seemed at home as he scored two goals in four appearances.

The 17-year-old is extremely composed in possession and also defends diligently.

Furthermore, he has made progress on the international front recently as he captained the England U18 side.

Sousa has already trained with the Arsenal first-team and was in the squad for a friendly against Brentford B.

Given the rate at which he is progressing, a call-up for a competitive game might not be too far away, but in the interim he will be determined to continue impressing for the U23s.

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