Lino Da Cruz Sousa’s positive attitude saw him excel during his first season with Albion’s Under-18s, despite being just 16.
A local boy who spent his education at Sandwell Academy, Lino was still in school when he began his regular involvement with Peter Gilbert’s side during the 2020/21 campaign.
Like many of his 18s team-mates, Da Sousa is widely versatile. Operating mainly on the left flank, Lino has fantastic dribbling ability and close control going forward having predominantly played as a left-back.
The Albion youngster’s potential hasn’t gone unnoticed by the Three Lions, with Lino experiencing the professional environment and high quality for his age-group at an England training camp in March 2020. He’s gone on to represent the Young Lions at U15 and 16 level.
In addition to his first season featuring in a higher age group, Da Sousa started a PL2 game for Deon Burton’s side alongside fellow 18s regular Maks Boruc against Newcastle in February 2021.
“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” - U18s boss Peter Gilbert.