After Bukyo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe’s emergence at the top level, Arsenal fans can’t wait to see what Hale End can produce next.
Folarin Balogun and Miguel Azeez are the obvious names, but the two teenagers have been given a chance in the first team already. There’s no doubt that they will go on to have fine careers in the Premier League, and we can’t be more excited about the two of them.
However, Arsenal Journalist Charles Watts has named 17-year-old Charlie Patino as the next big thing set to come out of Hale End. He believes that the young midfielder will link up with the first team directly soon, just like Saka did a couple of years ago.
Watts: Patino could be the next Arsenal superstar
He said on his YouTube show: “Some players as far as I’m aware, like Charlie Patino, he’s very young, only 17, isn’t being earmarked for loan at the moment, he’s possibly going to link-up straight with the first-team at some point, kind of like Saka did.
“Someone who hasn’t been in the first-team yet, Charlie Patino he’s an absolutely huge talent, massive talent, midfielder. Unfortunately he got a hamstring injury towards the end of last season just as he broke into the U23s.
“(He’s a) Fantastic talent, love him as a midfielder every time I see him, he’s got real quality. Everyone at Arsenal is very excited about him. So he could be the next superstar to come through Hale End.”
Who is Charlie Patino?
A deep-lying midfielder with a wand of a left-foot and a stunning range of passing, Patino will quickly remind Arsenal fans of Granit Xhaka.
Like the Swiss international, he can ping long diagonals for fun from almost anywhere on the pitch, but the big difference is that Patino is a lot more mobile than Xhaka is as a midfielder. That allows him to dribble his way around the opposition and be more of a threat.
Watts is right, it’s only a matter of time before Patino gets his chance in the first team. He may not make the kind of noise that Saka and Smith are making thanks to their goal contributions, but there’s little doubt about the fact that he will be a star in the near future.