Arsenal U23 coach Kevin Betsy is full of praise for the ‘outstanding’ Lino Sousa just three months after the teenager joined the Premier League giants from West Brom, speaking to the Gunners’ website.

The 17-year-old left-back certainly isn’t the first exciting young talent to walk away from West Bromwich Albion in recent times.

At least, unlike Louie Barry, Brad Young, Tim Iroegbunam and more, he didn’t end up plying his trade a few miles down the road at Villa Park.

Then again, if Lino Sousa blossoms at Arsenal and one day follows in the footsteps of Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and co in North London, that won’t feel like much of a consolation to West Brom fans.

Sousa, an England U18 international, put pen to paper with Arsenal in January.

The highly-rated full-back, who moved to Wolverhampton from Portugal when he was just eight years old, was a long-term target for the London giants too.

Sousa himself admitted recently that Arsenal had first expressed their interest in the summer of 2021, biding their time before getting a deal over the line a few months later.

And it’s fair to say Sousa is repaying Arsenal’s faith with interest.

He’s scored twice already in three Premier League 2 games under Betsy. Including one in Monday’s 3-3 draw with reigning champions Manchester City.

“Credit to Lino Sousa, the new boy we signed this season,” says Betsy.

“He played 90 minutes for the Under 18s on Saturday. And to show some resilience to be asked to play again – we had some injuries with players who moved to the first team – he came and performed 75 minutes to that level.

“Outstanding. That’s the level of character we want to build for our young strong Gunners and we continue that.”

Sousa has made nine appearances for Arsenal at youth level, captaining the U18 side on two occasions already.

Betsy also spoke in glowing terms about Ruell Waters, Jack Henry-Francis, Miguel Azeez and Charlie ‘best kid I’ve ever seen’ Patino after that six-goal thriller with City.

Mika Biereth scored twice on Monday, taking his tally to 10 goals in 19 PL2 matches.

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