Arsenal boss Arteta has secret weapon in Patino branded ‘best kid I’ve seen’

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Mikel Arteta has already been told that 18-year-old midfielder Charlie Patino is the 'best kid I've ever seen' as the youngster continues to star for Arsenal in training.

Arsenal's academy continues to impress, with Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe following in the footsteps of Cesc Fabregas, Jack Wilshere and Serge Gnabry. In fact, Patino is one of nine players in Arteta's first team squad that came from the academy, as the Spaniard continues to opt for a youthful approach.

But although he may not be quite ready just yet, Arteta has already been told that he has a serious star on his hands. The future is looking bright for Arsenal, and Patino is destined for the top.

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Patino made 15 appearances for Arsenal U23 side last season, and even scored on his only appearance for the senior side, netting on his debut in a 5-1 win against Sunderland in the Carabao Cup. But this will come as no surprise to Arsenal scout Brian Stapleton, who called Patino the 'best kid he'd ever seen' while he was playing for Luton Town.

In an interview with GOAL, Stapleton said: "Of all the years I’ve been scouting, he’s the best kid I’ve ever seen. I got a tip off about Charlie from a guy, so I went over there and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

"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.

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"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.’"

And so they did, beating rival interest from the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham to sign the midfielder in 2015. Patino cost Arsenal a fee in the region of £10,000, but now has a value of £1.8million according to Transfermarkt.

England may also want to act as quick as Arsenal did, as the midfielder is also eligible to represent Spain at international level. Andres Iniesta is said to be one of his rivals, and he loved Santi Cazorla at Arsenal.

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