Lino Sousa says Zinchenko has been helping him in Arsenal training
Arsenal youngster Lino Sousa has told The Athletic that both Oleksandr Zinchenko and Kieran Tierney have been helping him in training, with Mikel Arteta keen for the first-team’s playing style to filter down to all levels.
Sousa is yet to make his senior debut for the Gunners following his move to the Emirates earlier this year. However, the 17-year-old is clearly one player who has been earmarked as one for the future.
He was included on the bench for the win at Brentford earlier this season. And he has been a regular fixture for the under-21s, starting eight of their games in Premier League 2.
Zinchenko helping Sousa
Of course, the pathway to the senior side is most definitely there for Arsenal’s best youngsters. That same day at Brentford saw Ethan Nwaneri become the youngest player in Premier League history.
And one of the things Arteta does to help the starlets deal with the step-up is have members of the first-team work with those prospects. For Sousa, that means that he has been getting a helping hand from the Gunners’ two international left-backs.
“I speak to Zinny (Zinchenko) as well,” he told The Athletic. “Both him and Tierney are really nice and helpful in training. It’s what Mikel wants, so whatever the first team do, we try to mirror it to prepare ourselves to make the big step up. Just having that diversity and variety, whether I’m out wide or play centrally, it’s good for me.”
£32m deal about a lot more than left-back’s performances on the pitch
Sousa’s comments further highlight how Zinchenko’s move was about a lot more than what he can do on the pitch.
Arsenal paid up to £32 million in the summer. And when you only look at Zinchenko’s record this season, you may be tempted to think that it was a poor piece of business.
And yet, no-one is talking about the 25-year-old in that way. Zinchenko has been superb when he has been fit. But he also has that winning mentality that could be so important the longer Arsenal remain in the title picture.
And, as it turns out, he is also helping those looking to one day take his spot. The knowledge Zinchenko and Tierney impart on Sousa could be so valuable as the teenager looks to kick on.
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