West Bromwich Albion do not have the most famed academy in the world, but have been known to produce talent that have gone on to have a fine career.
Saido Berahino and Tyler Roberts were both at different points in time solid Premier League footballers, and both rose through the ranks at the Hawthorns.
However now, with the likes of Josh Shaw and Reyes Cleary, there could be a new dawn for the Baggies.
They will be disappointed to have lost what could’ve been their true star in Lino Sousa however, who opted to sign for Arsenal last January and was remarkably handed a place on the bench in yesterday’s comprehensive 3-0 win over Brentford.
Although he is yet to play a huge amount of football, the fact that he featured in Premier League 2 at just 16 years old is a testament to his ability and maturity.
This season, where he already has five appearances, suggests that he will be a mainstay in the Gunners’ U23 side. However, his inclusion yesterday could serve as an indication that this season could be the year for him to finally earn some first-team minutes.
Whilst the limelight may have been stolen by the 15-year-old Ethan Nwaneri, who became the youngest ever player to feature in the Premier League, Sousa will be patiently waiting in the wings for his opportunity to prove he too can make the next step up.
When he does, it will further compound the misery of West Brom, who will have to see one of their young starlets continue to shine outside of their influence.
In the one game that he has played this season where data has been made available since his move to the Emirates, the 17-year-old kept a clean sheet, had 87 touches and had a 94% pass completion rate in their 2-0 win over Cambridge United.
It showed an element of composure way above his age and also demonstrated his willingness to get involved from the left-hand side of defence.
He truly is an “outstanding” talent in the words of Kevin Betsy, and in no time at all the Baggies will surely be left with nightmares over allowing this youngster to slip through the cracks for a measly tribunal fee.