Arsenal starlet Charlie Patino has been heavily touted to be the next big thing at the Emirates, but his deal is fast coming to an end. So who is the 19-year-old on Barcelona’s radar?
Patino was born to a Spanish father but has grown up in England and spent the last 8 years at Arsenal’s academy. Capped at under 20 level, he is thought to one of the brightest midfield prospects in England. At the age of just 11, Arsenal paid Luton Town €13.7k for him.
Currently on loan at Blackpool, he has become a regular in the Championship, playing 15 times in England’s second tier and starting 60% of their matches.
Patino is renowned for his smooth football and ranks well for passes blocked, shots blocked and interceptions, as well as good averages for assists. Although he is comfortable anywhere in midfield, he looks most comfortable as the deepest-lying part of three – something that will no doubt interest Barcelona as they are looking for a long-term replacement for Sergio Busquets.
His ball control, vision and awareness on the pitch have all been highlighted as strengths of his. Put more bluntly, Blackpool fans have been recorded saying ‘He can have my children’.
Calciomercato (via MD) have linked Barcelona with Patino, which would fit their policy of pursuing free transfers. The youngster is out of contract next summer. However Arsenal will no doubt fight for Patino as Mikel Arteta is a fan of Patino’s, seeing him coming into the first team at the Gunners before long.