Arsenal have a knack for nurturing and developing exciting young talents, with Charlie Patino, currently on a seasonal contract with Championship outfit Blackpool, garnering interest from one of football’s most distinguished outfits…
What’s the word?
According to Calciomercato, FC Barcelona want to swoop for the young ace and clinch his services for free at seasons end, with his current contract set to expire in June.
For Gunners boss Mikel Arteta, keeping prying claws away from the talented teen will be paramount, with his influence and skill set only set to improve across the next few years.
His parent club will be confident in tying him down to a new deal, with a two-year extension claimed to be an option on the current deal with the north London outfit; such is the importance of maintaining a player exhibiting shades of former icon Cesc Fabregas.
Arsenal’s next Fabregas
Patino, despite his youth and inexperience, has been making considerable waves for both Arsenal and his loan club, Blackpool.
Indeed, the 19-year-old has been a shining light amongst dim bulbs this season, one of the only promising performers for a Seasiders side that faces an uphill battle to stave off relegation.
The club sit in 23rd place, currently holding four consecutive defeats, though despite the side’s travails, youngster Patino has proved his worth.
Scoring two goals and assists apiece in 15 Championship games, Patino has been a dynamic presence at the centre for Blackpool, notably starring in the club’s stunning derby victory Preston North End, where the young gun grabbed a goal and assist and produced a seasonal best rating of 8.1/10, as per SofaScore.
Former Gunners scout Brian Stapleton said Patino is “one of the very best’ that he has worked with, high praise from a man overseeing the initial development of the likes of Jack Wilshere, Bukayo Saka, and Emile Smith Rowe.
His playmaking ability and intrinsic understanding of the creative side of the game leaves him in great stead to thrive at the top of the game, and is a large element behind the continental interest, with Barcelona boss Xavi an admirer of supreme passers of the ball.
And Patino, who has duality in international options, with his Spanish-born father holding a passport from the country, could emulate Fabregas, one of his idols, in flourishing as a luminous creative spark for Arsenal and Spain.
The parallels don’t stop there, with the Watford–born maestro detailing an admiration for the likes of Fabregas, Santi Cazorla, and current Gunners boss Mikel Arteta, all fabulous passers on the ball, each wielding a different vein of grace, elegance, and flair.
Having made just two appearances for the north London outfit, the precocious youth has already made a lasting impression, scoring off the bench against Sunderland in the Carabao Cup last season.
Indeed, he’s made an impression that has left Barcelona circling like a hungry shark, and Arteta must act swiftly if he is to pen the “special talent” to a long-term deal and prevent losing him on a free transfer next summer.
There is still some distance to being rightfully described as a player of Fabregas’ shape and stature, but he is going the right way about it, and should Charlie Patino continue the way he is going, he might just continue Arsenal’s line of Spanish midfield influence.