‘Arsenal’s Phil Foden’: Everything you need to know about Charlie Patino
Arsenal have produced some exciting footballers over the last few decades and Charlie Patino is showing every indication of becoming the next talent off the Emirates conveyer belt.
Patino currently plays for the club’s U18 side but has been attracting rave reviews for his performances, with some fans eager to see the 17-year-old feature in the first-team for the upcoming Carabao Cup match against AFC Wimbledon.
We’ve compiled everything you need to know about Arsenal’s latest hot prospect.
His career so far
Patino was born in 2003 – he’ll turn 18 in October – and first made waves in the footballing world before he’d even finished primary school.
In April 2015, the Daily Mail reported that Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham were all chasing the signature of 11-year-old Patino – who played in the same Luton Town academy where Jack Wilshere started his career.
Arsenal won the race for Patino’s signature, reportedly paid Luton a £10,000 compensation fee. His father, Julio explained to the Luton Herald & Post at the time: “Opportunities like this don’t come too often so you’ve got to take them and we’re absolutely delighted for him.”
He’s continued to impress in the intervening years. Sources within the club believe Patino is better than Wilshere was at 16, as well as having similarities with Manchester City star Phil Foden.
Patino recently made his first-team bow in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Brentford where he reportedly impressed Arsenal’s senior stars. The midfielder has also played in the EFL Trophy this season, where his performance in a 2-1 defeat against Swindon attracted rave reviews on social media.
Patino has also represented his country at youth level, captaining England in an Under-16 match against Spain when he was 14.
His potential has been noted outside of Arsenal, Despite not playing a first-team match at professional level, Patino has already secured himself a commercial contract with Adidas.
Charlie Patino vs Swindon Town: pic.twitter.com/QKWAWTCAAT
— William 🦋 (@AFCWilliam__) September 7, 2021
Where does he play?
Like Arsenal legend Liam Brady, Patino has the ability to be a game-changer and orchestrate play from the middle of the park.
He is extremely comfortable on the ball and can hurt the opposition with a defence-splitting pass from deep and in a No.10 role.
Patino was born in Watford to Spanish parents and it’s possible to see traits of the great Spanish midfielders of the recent past in his play. Adept at recycling possession and creating space for himself and his team-mates, the 17-year-old would look comfortable playing for the youth teams of Barcelona or Real Madrid.
In short, Patino is a very technical player who remains calm under pressure and possesses a mean left foot. He has the potential to aid Arsenal in their bid for silverware. A quick look at the latest DraftKings sportsbook promo code would be probably one of the only ways to back the Gunners risk-free, as realistically their chances of silverware remain low.
What he said
Speaking to Arsenal’s official website, Patino said: “Growing up I adored Santi Cazorla as a player. Cesc Fabregas and Mikel Arteta were some of my favourites too. But there’s something about Santi for me and the qualities that he had – he was something else.”
Patino is eligible to represent both England and Spain at senior international level. Speaking to Arsenal.com, he said: “Maybe one day I could play for them. I’ve always had an appreciation for that Spanish style of play.”
Speaking about where his allegiances lie, he said: “Five years on and it’s no surprise I have a massive soft spot for Arsenal, but I’ve got to be completely honest and say that my heart is with Luton Town!
“I spent five years there as well and the development they gave me was massive and I’ll always appreciate that.”
What they’ve said
In a Reddit Q&A, Football.London’s Chris Wheatley said: “Charlie Patino is the next big thing at Arsenal and I am certain he will become a regular for the club in a few years time.”
Charles Watts, Arsenal correspondent for Goal, recently said on his YouTube channel: “Charlie Patino, everyone that I’ve spoken to and every time I’ve seen him he’s impressed me.
“Everyone I’ve spoken to has been really impressed by him and is really excited by him. He’s really looking like that Jack Wilshere-type player. He’s the most exciting player coming through.”
Arsenal scout Brian Stapleton went even further: “Sean O’Connor discovered Jack Wilshere and he said to me that Charlie [Patino] 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.”
The last word should go to Reiss Nelson. He’s been right before…
Reiss Nelson tells @David_Ornstein in 2018:
“There’s only one you should watch out for: and it’s Saka.”
Reiss Nelson in 2021:
"[Charlie Patino] remember the name." 🔮 pic.twitter.com/yvweqIxfpo
— Chris Wheatley (@ChrisWheatley_) September 8, 2021