Charlie Patino has been impressing his Arsenal teammates during training sessions at London Colney and is now set to be handed his first chance in the senior set-up
Mikel Arteta is ready to hand Charlie Patino a place in his first-team squad as the Arsenal wonderkid continues to progress.
The 17-year-old midfielder has been a standout in the club’s development squads and has been thrown into senior training in recent months.
During sessions at London Colney, Patino has impressed his more senior teammates, showing he is ready for a chance at the next level.
His performances for both Arsenal and England’s youth squads have stoked intrigue, not only in north London, but across Europe.
Barcelona have been linked with a move for Patino, who supports the Blaugrana thanks to the likes of Andres Iniesta and Xavi.
However, Football.London claim Arsenal have no intention of selling and are ready to offer him a new contract when he turns 18 later this year.
As well as their firm stance on Patino’s future, Arteta is also ready to bring him into the first-team fold in the Carabao Cup next week.
The Gunners face AFC Wimbledon in the third round of the competition on September 22 and Patino is set to be named on the bench.
Patino played an hour in Arsenal’s behind-closed-doors friendly against Brentford earlier this month, coming off the bench during the 4-0 win over the Bees.
Brian Stapleton, the Arsenal scout who first spotted Patino, told Goal that the youngster has the potential to be a star in the top-flight.
“Of all the years I’ve been scouting, he’s the best kid I’ve ever seen,” Stapleton said. “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.
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“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.”
Arsenal intend to develop Patino in-house, rather than sending him out on loan, as they have with the majority of their youngsters.
He added: “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.”