Charlie Patino dazzles in EFL Cup; in line for extension and fast-track to first team duties

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Charlie Patino dazzles in EFL Cup; in line for extension and fast-track to first team duties

Charlie Patino the latest Hale End product to shine

In an age where being an Arsenal fan includes supporting Hale End academy graduates like Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe, and Ainsley Maitland-Niles on their journey after breaking into the Arsenal first team, young starlet Charlie Patino has lined himself up as the next youth prospect to turn heads in his recent EFL Trophy performance.

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An England U17 international, Patino joined the Arsenal academy set up in 2015 after beginning his education at Luton Town and is already being billed as the next player to bust through the barrier and carve out a place for himself in the first-team squad under Mikel Arteta.

Patino – who has been likened to another former academy prospect in Ismaël Bennacer, but also claimed to have similarities with current England starlet Phil Foden as well as former Arsenal great Liam Brady – had many fans gawking after his solo stunner against Manchester United for the U23’s.

Still just 17-years-old, the road is now potentially open for Patino to be fast-tracked into the first-team under Arteta ahead of schedule and given his first taste of senior duties when Arsenal clash with AFC Wimbledon on the 22nd of September in the 3rd round of the Carabao Cup.

Youth starlet to be extended amidst Barcelona interest

Recent links with Barcelona entertaining interest in Charlie Patino are set to be put to bed moving forward after Football.London’s Chris Wheatley confirmed on the Latte Firm podcast that Arsenal are set to offer the budding midfielder an extension;

“I know he’s going to be signing an add-on contract next month when he turns 18. He’s staying at the club. There were some links with Barcelona, [we] don’t have to worry about that! He’s staying at Arsenal.”

With the possibility of the club losing a player of his level of potential put to bed, further praise about the England youth international came by way of former Arsenal scout Brian Stapleton who reflected on the moment he saw Patino;

“Of all the years I’ve been scouting, he’s the best kid I’ve ever seen. I got a tip off about Charlie from a guy, so I went over there and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. He was 11 and I think he was playing in the Under-13s, and I was like ‘wow’.

His first touch was unbelievable, his vision, his awareness of space. He was way above his years, he was on another planet to anyone else on the pitch.

I made a phone call to my head of my department at Arsenal at the time, Sean O’Connor. Sean O’Connor discovered Jack Wilshere and he said to me that Charlie is the best player who has ever walked through the doors at Hale End.

There is a pathway that Arsenal have got for him and he’s probably going down the same pathway as Phil Foden at Manchester City.”

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