Arsenal academy starlet Charlie Patino impressing first-team squad in training and could make debut this month
The teenager will be fast-tracked after attracting interest from other clubs (Pictures: Getty)
Arsenal youngster Charlie Patino has been impressing the first-team squad with his performances in training and could even make his senior debut for the Gunners this month.
The 17-year-old is already carving out a reputation as a potential star of the future having delivered a host of fine performances for the Under-21s, notably netting against Dean Henderson with a sublime dinked finish when Arsenal took on Manchester United’s development team recently.
Reiss Nelson, who predicted Bukayo Saka’s emergence three years ago, also got Arsenal fans excited when he used just three words to sum his thoughts on Patino: ‘Remember the name.’
Arsenal signed Patino from Luton as an 11-year-old for £100k (Picture: Getty)
He has ‘really impressed’ the first-team squad and a number of players have taken an interest in him and offered advice, with summer signing Ben White in particular taking him under his wing.
Striker Alexandre Lacazette has also welcomed Patino into the first-team fold, with the experienced Frenchman often seen encouraging and advising the club’s young players in his role as one of the main leaders in the dressing room.
Patino’s rise has been so rapid he could even make his debut this month, with the midfielder set to be included in Arsenal’s squad for their upcoming Carabao Cup match against AFC Wimbledon on September 22.
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He is likely to be named on the bench for that contest, though it is a clear sign of how highly rated he is and, circumstances permitting, Arteta will be keen to give him a first taste of senior football.
That could also be important in order to show Patino that he has a pathway into the first team, particularly with rival clubs starting to take notice of the youngster.
Arsenal are confident Patino will become a first-team star (Picture: Getty)
Chief among them is Barcelona, who have been linked with a move recently, and a switch to Camp Nou could appeal to Patino given that he followed the club as a kid and modelled his own game on their iconic midfielders such as Xavi and Andres Iniesta.
To add to the intrigue, and despite captaining the England Under-17s, Patino could qualify to play for Spain through his paternal grandparents, which might lend itself to a move to Catalunya.
Arsenal, though, are adamant their young midfield gem is going nowhere and have dismissed the Barcelona links, while Patino is also expected to be handed fresh terms when he turns 18 next month.
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