Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has consistently placed his faith in the club’s youth following his arrival in December 2019, with Bukayo Saka, Eddie Nketiah, Gabriel Martinelli and Joe Willock all featuring regularly under the Spaniard.
Arteta confirmed one of his main principles after taking over in the Arsenal hot seat mid-way through last season would be to continue to promote young academy players into the first team.
The success of Saka and co has given confidence to rising stars such as Folarin Balogun, Mark McGuinness and George Lewis that their own senior chance is not too far away.
Arteta will certainly continue to blood young players into cup ties and matchday squads, and one name Gunners fans definitely need to keep an eye out for is 16-year-old Charlie Patino.
The England U17 international has been named as Arsenal’s representative in The Guardian’s Next Generation 2020 talent pool after cruising through the ranks in the last 18 months.
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Patino earned rave reviews for his composed performances within the academy set-up before moving permanently into Ken Gillard’s U18 side last season.
Gillard opted to use him sparingly in the opening weeks of the U!8 Premier League season, but after playing a more regular role in 2020, he racked up two assists from nine appearances before the season was abandoned in March.
The Watford-born schemer was invited to join first team training back in January by Arteta, with long standing figures at the club likening him to a hybrid of former Arsenal stars Liam Brady and Jack Wilshere as well as Manchester City’s Phil Foden.
Predominantly left footed and tall for his age at 5’11, Patino has rotated between a solo defensive midfielder and the left of a narrow three-man midfield under Gillard.
His ability to break through the lines and create chances higher up the pitch is the most…