Arsenal to take teenager to FC Zurich for Europa League clash but ace can’t even play

Arsenal ace Lino Sousa and Mikel Arteta

Arsenal news: Lino Sousa is set to be with the Gunners for their first Europa League match (Image: GETTY)

will take 17-year-old left-back Lino Sousa with them to Switzerland for their first match of the season, according to reports. However, Sousa has not been registered in the Gunners squad for the competition and therefore cannot play.

Arsenal face FC Zurich on Thursday and the competition could be an opportunity for some younger players to feature. They are back in Europe after a year out of continental football but has a limited squad to choose from.

You are reading: Arsenal to take teenager to FC Zurich for Europa League clash but ace can’t even play

Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny are both out with injuries, while Emile Smith Rowe picked up a problem after Sunday’s loss to Manchester United. Arteta will look to pick the right balance between having a strong team but also resting key players who have featured heavily in the Premier League so far this season.

According to , teenager Sousa has been given the opportunity to travel. Sousa joined Arsenal from West Brom in January and became a regular in the under-23 side last season.

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However, he has not been at the club long enough to be named on the B-list of players available to Arsenal for the competition and was left off the A-list. The Gunners have given UEFA a they can use in the group stages and Sousa’s name is not on there.

Arsenal under-21 coach Mehmet Ali has spoken glowingly about Sousa in recent weeks. Ali explained the defender’s strengths but also what he can improve on.

He said: “We always look at the players’ attributes, what they’re really good at and try to make their strengths super-strengths to help them stand out. Lino is a player that is very comfortable on the ball and because of that we sometimes give him licence to come inside the pitch to get the ball to feet and then try and serve (the ball in) effective and dangerous areas.

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“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.”

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Players such as Rob Holding and Takehiro Tomiyasu are likely to earn their first starts of the season against Zurich. Summer signing Fabio Vieira is also in line to make his full debut.

Young winger Marquinhos will again be in a match-day squad as he pushes for his first appearance in a Gunners shirt. A lack of midfield options could see both Albert Sambi Lokonga and Granit Xhaka play again in the middle of the park.

Matt Turner could make his bow in goal in place of Aaron Ramsdale.

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