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Forget Balogun: Arteta’s “special” Hale End teen is ready to explode at Arsenal

Forget Balogun: Arteta’s “special” Hale End teen is ready to explode at Arsenal

On December 22, 2021, Charlie Patino, a young player from Arsenal, experienced his “best day” ever. This was because the 19-year-old got to play for the Gunners’ senior team for the very first time, and during a League Cup game against Sunderland, he also scored his first goal.

Although it may not have been a complete coming-of-age moment for Patino, his performance during the League Cup game was a promising glimpse into his potential. Mick McCarthy has also recently stated that he believes Patino will be a “very good” player in the future.

Since emerging as a standout player from Arsenal’s Hale End youth academy, there has been a lot of excitement surrounding Patino. He has been compared to the likes of Jack Wilshere and Cesc Fabregas.

Although Patino still has a long way to go before reaching the same level as Wilshere or Fabregas, there is a sense within Arsenal that he is ready to make a big impact at a higher level.

This season has been an important one for Patino’s development as a midfielder, especially as he was sent out on loan in order to gain valuable first-team experience.

As the pairing of Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka appeared to be set, it was unlikely that Patino would be able to secure a place in the first team under Mikel Arteta this season. However, thanks to his impressive performances at Blackpool on loan, he may now be considered a legitimate option at the Emirates Stadium.

At the beginning of the season, Patino’s target was to play in around 15 matches, according to his new manager at Blackpool, Mick McCarthy. However, Patino has exceeded expectations by featuring in 28 matches across all competitions so far.

Throughout his loan spell, Patino has managed to score three goals, one of which was against Premier League side Southampton in the FA Cup. He has also provided two assists.

There is no doubt that Patino has a lot of potential from an offensive perspective and it’s likely that we will see more from him in the coming years. He has adapted to Championship football very well and has been referred to as a “special talent” by Phil Smith of the Sunderland Echo.

However, Patino has also experienced some setbacks during his loan spell, such as receiving a red card in a match against Swansea City last month. These experiences will serve as important learning opportunities for him and it’s part of the reason why Arteta didn’t consider him ready for the first team at the beginning of the season.

Despite Patino’s impressive technical abilities, he is still a young player and may lack experience and occasionally display a lack of discipline.

During his time at Blackpool, it will be important for Patino to work on these aspects of his game and develop his skills further before making a big breakthrough in the upcoming season. With his height of 6 feet, he has the potential to become a dominant presence on the pitch.

Recently, there has been a lot of excitement surrounding another young Arsenal talent who is currently out on loan, Folarin Balogun. The England U21 international has been making headlines as one of the most talked-about forwards in European football, with an impressive record of 15 goals in 23 appearances for Reims in Ligue 1. This is the same tally as Kylian Mbappe, one of the top players in the division.

Balogun is a highly skilled and clinical player when it comes to scoring goals. Given his outstanding performances, it may be difficult for Arsenal to secure a place for the American-born forward in the team next season.

It is possible that Balogun may need to go out on loan, considering that Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah are currently ahead of him for a spot as the lone striker in the team.

On the other hand, Patino has a good chance of securing a place in Arteta’s starting XI in either of two positions. He could play as the sitting midfielder, occupying Partey’s role, or he could play as the more advanced number 8, which is Xhaka’s role.

There have been rumors of a possible move for West Ham’s Declan Rice, but even if he does arrive in the summer, there may still be space for a player like Patino to make an impact in the team.

Given his impressive performance while on loan, it would be unwise to overlook Patino. He has all the qualities necessary to thrive in the Premier League in the upcoming 2023/24 season. With his talent and potential, Patino could very well make a significant impact for Arsenal in the near future.

Forget Balogun: Arteta’s “special” Hale End teen is ready to explode at Arsenal

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