Hale End, the centre of Arsenal's youth development, has seen a lot of attention in the last few years with so many bright talents breaking through to the first team, including the likes of Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe, and very soon there could be another.
Charlie Patino who currently plays for the Arsenal U23's as a midfielder only signed his first professional contract with the club back in October of last year, but Chris Wheatley, Chief Arsenal Reporter at Football London, while speaking on his Youtube has said that Patino is likely to be named in the squad for next weeks match against AFC Wimbledon and even mentioned how much he has impressed the first team players.
With the Gunners looking short in midfield at the start of this season, Patino could offer a solution and he certainly has the attributes to fill in if needed by manager Mikel Arteta.
It has been reported that back in 2015 a host of clubs including Arsenal, as well as London rivals Chelsea and Tottenham were after the signature of at the time 11 year old Patino who was playing for Luton Town. The Gunners eventually won the race paying a £10,000 compensation to the Hatters, thanks to scout Brian Stapleton who has claimed that during his time scouting, Patino is "the best kid I've ever seen."
Since then, he has continued to get even better and although he didn't feature in pre-season, he did take part in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Brentford which Arsenal won 4-0 and in which he was said to have impressed the senior players who took part.
Reiss Nelson, one of the Hale End Graduates, reposted an image of Patino on his Instagram story with the caption "Remember the nameeee", highlighting how much he is being noticed and since Nelson was the one who told us back in 2018 to keep an eye out for Saka, then you can be almost assured Patino is going to be a top player.
Despite his age, the Watford born midfielder has already played a number of games for the U23's, trained on some occasions with the first team and captained the Gunners in the Papa John's Trophy last week against Swindon Town.
To further prove just how much his quality is being noticed, he recently signed a new long term commercial deal with Adidas all before his 18th birthday.
If any Arsenal fan is wondering what sort of player Patino is, then they should look no further than his goal he scored against Manchester United in a PL2 game. After winning the ball back, he then darts into the box, avoiding a challenge from Phil Jones, before chipping the ball over England International Dean Henderson into the goal, prompting an array of views of the goal on social media.
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Positionally he can play across the midfield, both in an offensive and defensive set up, with his passing and dribbling key attributes to his game, which has prompted comparisons to Manchester City's Phil Foden, who has of course already shown his quality at such a young age with 26 goal contributions in his 50 appearances last season for the Citizens.
But it maybe through his Spanish background where he has adopted his technical qualities. Despite being born in Watford, Patino's parents are Spanish and he has said previously in an interview with Arsenal.com that he "always had an appreciation for that Spanish style of play."
It is clear from speaking in that interview where his influence for playing comes from.
"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."
These midfielders of course all gained a reputation for bringing flair and the ability to change the tide of a game in an instant. This type of midfielder has been missing at Arsenal especially deeper in the midfielder for a number of years, in a position Cazorla was converted into by Arsene Wenger in order to unleash his full potential. Should Patino bring this same mould of player, then he could find a place in Arteta's team a lot sooner than he thinks.
Patino will no doubt be eager to make his opening apperance for the Gunners, as someone who has not hidden his passion for Arsenal on Twitter. From sharing a campaign onto his feed to save the famous Arsenal pub the Tollington to tweeting about renewing his subscription to Arsenal's No.1 fanzine, the Gooner, for the upcoming season, it is clear that not only is he a great player, but also one who cares deeply about the club.
Whether or not his chance will come next Wednesday remains to be seen, but either way, this talent still has plenty of time to make a name for himself and hopefully he will be able to do that at the Emirates in the near future.