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Exciting talent reveals why he left Arsenal: “I wanted to get out”

Arsenal’s young prospect has revealed why he left the side last month, as he explains, “I wanted to get out”.

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Image Credit: Getty Images

Arsenal and Mikel Arteta have been criticised by fans and pundits alike for their poor handling of their youth talent in the last few seasons. With players from the youth side rarely being called upon by Arteta, fans are scared of losing their most prized youngsters as they search for first-team football.

One promising youngster who left to a Premier League rival recently was 19 year-old defender, Lino Sousa. The defender joined Aston Villa on a four-and-a-half-year deal after spending two years in north London since his move from West Bromwich Albion.

The Gunners had a talented player on their hands, who could naturally invert and overlap to a very high standard. Last season, his Arseanl under-21s coach, Mehmet Ali told The Athletic:

“Lino is a player who is very comfortable on the ball, because of that we sometimes give him licence to come inside to get the ball to feet and then try and serve (the ball in) effective and dangerous areas.

“Also, we want to show his ability to get forward and sometimes go on the outside to get crosses into the box. But most importantly, Lino needs to remember what his job is as a defender, which is stopping crosses, protecting the far post and winning his defensive duels.”

Lino Sousa

Sousa impressed during his short spell at the club (Image Credits: Getty Images)

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Arsenal were clearly very impressed with Sousa, and he recalls that his progression since joining the club was fast, as he became captain of the under-18s and was promoted to the under-23s in quick time. The full-back was then being integrated into the first-team as he was included in training and had dinner with Arteta, despite never making his professional debut

After signing to Aston Villa, he agreed to join Plymouth Argyle on loan on the same day. Despite the surprising nature of the move of their young talent, Sousa has revealed his motives behind parting ways with the north London club in an interview with Plymouth Live:

“They (Plymouth loanees, Alfie Devine, Ashley Phillips and Darko Gyabi) are doing really well, the manager has put trust in them to start and play quite a few games on the bounce now. It just gives me the motivation. I want to be like that as well and start games back to back. Definitely having those guys here has made it a bit more easier for me to settle in.”

“I wanted to get out and play first-team football, whether that was at Arsenal or elsewhere.

“I felt as if Villa provided me the right platform and the right plan to go ahead and do that, so that’s why I made that conscious decision to leave.”

The Gunners do have many full-backs on their roster, with Ben White, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Takehiro Tomiyasu being a few, with young gun, Reuell Walters also on the brink of first-team action. However, it seems that the players at youth level are never fully integrated or utilised in the squad, and never quite cement themselves in the side.

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