Arsenal’s ‘best kid I’ve ever seen’ secures season-long loan away from Emirates
Arsenal’s 18-year-old wonderkid Charlie Patino has completed a season-long loan move to Blackpool in the Championship.
The central-midfielder is widely considered to be one of the most promising young stars to emerge from the north London club’s famed Hale End academy in recent years. He impressed Mikel Arteta enough to make his debut last season, scoring in the EFL Cup win over Sunderland after coming on as a substitute.
But after finding his game-time limited following his first start in the FA Cup defeat to Nottingham Forest, the teenager has now been sent out on loan to Bloomfield Road for the 2022/23 campaign.
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The teenager told the official Blackpool website following his move: “It’s a really great opportunity for me and I think I’m ready to take this on in the next step of my career. Speaking to the manager, it was a really great feeling that he gave to me and I’m just really excited to get going.
“I spoke to Danny Ballard and Dujon Sterling before coming to the club and they were full of praise and said it’s an amazing place to be where everybody is welcome.
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“They also mentioned the fans, the Tangerine Army, who are always on their feet at home and away games. I’m just buzzing to play in front of them and show them what I’m about.”
The midfielder is hoping the loan will enable him to follow in the foot-steps of idols Cesc Fabregas and Santi Cazorla at the Emirates. But Arsenal scout Brian Stapleton has no doubts about his potential, having even called Patino the 'best kid he'd ever seen' after spotting him while playing for Luton Town.
Stapleton told GOAL: "He was 11 and I think he was playing in the Under-13s, and I was like ‘wow’. His first touch was unbelievable, his vision, his awareness of space. He was way above his years, he was on another planet to anyone else on the pitch.
"I made a phone call to my head of my department at Arsenal at the time, Sean O’Connor. He asked what I thought and I said, ‘well, I’m not coming back again. I don’t need to see any more, you need to sign this kid straight away.’"
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