One of Arsenal’s emerging talents Charlie Patino says he is ready for the challenge after securing a loan move to Championship side Blackpool.
THE LOWDOWN: HIGHLY RATED
Patino has already played minutes at the senior level for the Gunners and is seen as one of, if not the best talent at the academy, with Arteta rating the 18-year-old highly.
The midfielder rose quickly to the attention of Arsenal fans last season after scoring on his debut in the Carabao Cup quarter-final victory over Sunderland in December.
After the eye-catching performance in the EFL Cup, Patino was handed his first start in the FA Cup third-round defeat to Nottingham Forest.
Sadly, he failed to get more senior minutes, in part due to the lack of cup matches Arsenal played in the second half of last season, but also due to an injury that kept him out of action for a while.
And whilst many expected him to be elevated to the first team this season, he’s somewhat surprisingly been allowed to leave to join the Tangerines.
THE LATEST: NOW WITH THE TANGERINES
“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,” Patino told Blackpool’s official website.
“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.
“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 VERDICT: DEVELOPMENT
Patino is believed to have impressed Arteta during a successful pre-season campaign for the Gunners and now gets the chance to really showcase his talents on a weekly basis in the Championship, having sealed a switch to Blackpool for the remainder of the 2022/23 campaign.
Moreover, promotion to the first team now would not have given him the desired playing minutes, especially with the array of available players in his position. More importantly, he needs to focus, play consistently and get himself into the eyes of the manager again.
He is one of the highly rated prospects in the current under-23s group and has been compared to fellow Hale Ender Jack Wilshere due to his style of play. Put into perspective, a loan deal where he will be able to get more playing time, is not bad at all.