Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has summer transfer decision to fill Granit Xhaka void

Football Digest: Reaction to Granit Xhaka's departure from Arsenal

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has a popular transfer decision to make next summer as the Spainard could decide to finally hand Charlie Patino the midfield reins to fill the void left behind by former captain Granit Xhaka. Xhaka spent seven years at the Emirates Stadium but left the club in the summer to sign for Bayer Leverkusen in a £21million deal.

Patino has risen through the ranks in north London after joining the Arsenal academy from Luton in 2015. The 20-year-old scored on his Gunners debut as his side thrashed Sunderland 5-1 in the Carabao Cup in 2021 and was handed his first start for the team when they lost to Nottingham Forest in the third round of the FA Cup in January 2022. But the ace has been unable to add to those two appearances and is yet to play in the Premier League.

Patino was shipped out on loan to Blackpool last season and played 34 games in the Championship as the Seasiders were relegated to League One. And he has been sent to Swansea this campaign, with the Welsh side currently 18th in the second tier.

Patino was a star player in the north west last season and has taken his fine form into this campaign, with the England under-21s international starting 11 league matches. And on Saturday he came off the bench to net a 94th-minute equaliser as Swansea drew 1-1 with Huddersfield. The talented youngster, who had won the ball back in the middle of the pitch, was teed-up by Jamie Paterson and guided the ball into the bottom corner of the net to put the home fans on their feet.

Read more… Liverpool icon Luis Suarez hints at retirement in sad fitness update

If Patino stays in Wales for the rest of the season, he will have two years of Championship football under his belt by the time next summer arrives. And Arteta may feel he is ready to make an impression at the Emirates Stadium when the next campaign gets underway.

Patino is a popular player at Arsenal and has already starred for the Gunners’ under-18s and under-23s. Fans of the north London giants often back their homegrown players, with the likes of Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe making a name for themselves in recent years. And Patino could be next in line.

  • Support fearless journalism
  • Read The Daily Express online, advert free
  • Get super-fast page loading

Don’t miss…
Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag losing dressing room as players raise ‘two complaints'[INSIGHT]
Erik ten Hag and Fernandes ‘confronted referee’ in visit after Newcastle loss[DETAILS]
Gary Neville tells Sky Sports he ‘doesn’t want’ to work on Man Utd games anymore[QUOTES]

Watch Premier League matches throughout December completely FREE thanks to Amazon Prime’s free trial.

For 30 days, you can watch Premier League matches for free without needing to pay a penny.

Afterwards, it costs £8.99 a month but you get free shipping on Amazon products and more.

Arteta has been tipped to cash in on midfielder Thomas Partey next summer, while Jorginho will be out of contract. And after already losing the services of Xhaka, the Arsenal boss will be planning for the future.

Xhaka bagged 23 goals and 29 assists in 297 appearances for Arsenal and helped the team win the FA Cup on two occasions. But Arteta allowed the player to move on when Leverkusen came calling with their offer.

Source: Read Full Article