Premier League • England

Arsenal sign highly-rated West Brom youngster as first January transfer deal

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta 2021

Arsenal have signed West Brom youth player Lino Sousa as their first piece of business in January, filling an important gap in the academy.

The Gunners’ academy is widely regarded as one of the best in the country. Indeed, first-team stars Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe were graduates who are now performing at the top level.

As such, the signing of West Brom youngster Sousa, per is exciting for both the player, and Arsenal.

The 16-year-old has impressed in both his own age group, and above, while at West Brom.

Furthermore, the left-back has represented England’s Under-16 and Under-18 sides. However, he also qualifies to represent Brazil at international level.

Arsenal’s academy are reportedly short on talent in Sousa’s position, having played right-backs on the left side of late. As such, he could well play above his own age group for Arsenal.

Gunners academy manager Per Mertesacker identified the need for a left-back, and saw the potential that Sousa possesses.

Peter Gilbert, who managed the youngster for West Brom Under-18s had nothing but praise for the star.

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“Lino’s an athletic full-back, reads the game well, has a lovely left foot and it’s not often a 16-year-old plays an entire season with the 18s, but that’s credit to him because he has so much potential,” he said via The Mirror.

Indeed, it looks as if Arsenal have a very promising young talent on their hands.

Mari likely to leave Arsenal in January

Arsenal defender Pablo Mari battling Brighton midfielder Alexis Mac Allister

While one defender has joined Arsenal in January, another looks to be heading for the exit door.

Mikel Arteta’s first Arsenal signing, Pablo Mari, is nearing a loan move to Udinese.

The Spaniard wants more game time, having played just three games for the Gunners this season.

As such, they are likely to grant Mari’s wish to leave the club, with Udinese keen to take him on board.

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