Arsenal youngster Charlie Patino is poised to continue his development on loan at Swansea City this season.
Despite expressing a preference for a permanent move, the talented midfielder will join the Championship side after impressing during his loan spell at Blackpool. Arsenal exercised their option to extend Patino's contract until 2025 following his standout performances.
While the 19-year-old has made two senior appearances for the Gunners, including a goal-scoring debut against Sunderland in December 2021, manager Mikel Arteta then urged caution in placing too much expectation on the young talent. Arteta emphasised the need for patience and gradual progress, saying: "I think that is very positive [that the fans were singing his name]. They heard about him and know what he can become and now we have to cook him slowly. Today was a good start, I think.
“[Too much expectation around him] is what we have to avoid. He still has a lot of competition in front of him. He is really young. And he needs to go step by step."
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Earlier reports suggested that Patino was likely to leave Arsenal permanently, with interest from several clubs in the UK and abroad, reports the Mirror. The midfielder was initially reluctant to embark on another temporary move and expressed a desire to pursue his career elsewhere.
With Arsenal strengthening their midfield options with the signings of Declan Rice and Kai Havertz, Patino's opportunities for first-team action would have been limited. Arsenal were believed to be receptive to his wish to leave but the situation has now changed, with another loan move on the cards.
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According to BBC Sport Wales, Patino is now set to join Swansea for the season, reuniting with former Blackpool teammate Jerry Yates. He will become Swansea's seventh major signing this summer under new manager Michael Duff.
Duff hinted at Patino's impending arrival following his side's 3-0 victory over Northampton Town in the League Cup this week, saying: "We think there's one coming in. There has been a yes in terms of an agreement. It will be a loan. We are hoping it will be done by the weekend but there's a few technical issues."
Patino was once dubbed the "best kid I've ever seen" by Arsenal scout Brian Stapleton. Stapleton previously recalled: "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.
"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.’"
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