Charlie Patino turns 18: What can we expect from the Arsenal youngster in the future?
Charlie Patino of Arsenal looks on during the Premier League 2 match between Arsenal U23 and Brighton & Hove Albion U23 at Emirates Stadium on October 01, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images)

As Arsenal fans, we have been treated to some gifted players making their way from Hale End into the first team. Starlets such as Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Hector Bellerin have all made the journey from the youth team into the senior squad, going on to have distinguished careers at the top of the game. 

But for a long time, no academy product has mustered quite as much excitement from the Arsenal faithful as Charlie Patino. The young midfielder, who made his England U19 debut just last week, has seemingly impressed just about everyone who has had the pleasure of watching him play.

He has earned many plaudits over the last few years of his development, from the recently returning Wilshere, to head of the youth setup and former Arsenal captain Per Mertesacker. 

Having had the opportunity myself to watch the 18-year-old play in Arsenal U23's fixture against Manchester United U23's, it is clear to see what all of the fuss is about. 

In this game alone, the youngster controlled the midfield with the sort of composure and guile we would usually associate with a seasoned professional. He capped off this performance with a simply stunning goal, in which he weaved his way through the United defence, leaving former England international Phil Jones on the floor, before calmly lifting the ball over a helpless Dean Henderson. 

So with positive performances becoming more and more frequent, what can we expect in the future from this rising star? 

One for the future

There have already been calls from Gunners fans for Patino to be more heavily involved with the first team, but it seems Mikel Arteta is choosing to take a more cautious approach when it comes to the young midfielder's senior participation. 

The feeling is that it will not be long before we see the teenager make his way into the first team, as he has been pictured training with the seniors on a number of occasions, paired with the fact he has been given a senior squad number for the 2021/22 season. 

His impression on the U23s side has been palpable, with the youngster often taking on the captain's armband over players four or five years older than himself.

In good company

Along with the returning Jack Wilshere, Patino has a great number of both former and current Arsenal stars to look up to as he makes his way up  through the academy. 

With players such as Thomas Partey, Emile Smith-Rowe and Bukayo Saka currently earning their place in Arteta's starting eleven, the midfielder will surely be taking tips and inspiration to further improve his game. 

Being of half Spanish heritage himself, he has imputed players such as Santi Cazorla as having a great influence on his football brain, noting that the Spanish style of play has been a great motivator to keep his up his momentum.

As Patino continues his development between the academy teams and the senior side, Arsenal fans will have to wait patiently for his introduction. Until then, we can all hope that he manages to steer clear of any injury or ailment, so that he can keep up his positive trajectory.

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