Patino makes big step forward as he makes U23s debut

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Charlie Patino has long been regarded as one of the most promising players in the Arsenal academy, and there was a significant occasion for the 17-year-old yesterday as he made his debut for the U23s.

Patino was thrown into action away to Tottenham Hotspur and the midfielder acquitted himself well before being substituted in the second half.

The absence of Miguel Azeez, who was missing due to injury, enabled Patino to get his chance, but it seems likely that he will get plenty of further opportunities to impress before the conclusion of the campaign.

Within seconds of watching Patino play his qualities are immediately obvious. The youngster has an excellent range of short and long passes, while his technical ability is of a very high standard. In recent months he has also shown some significant signs of improvement with regards to the defensive side of his game.

One slight element of concern with Patino is his lack of strength, but that should improve as he tests himself against older opponents and continues to work hard in the gym.

At present it appears that Patino’s progression is mirroring the path that Azeez followed a year ago, by breaking into the U23 squad in the second half of the season before having some first-team involvement in the following campaign.

It is clear that Patino is progressing at a rapid pace and it probably won’t be too long until he is involved with the senior squad in some capacity.

Jeorge Bird is the author of www.arsenalyouth.wordpress.com Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird

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C.B.

Give him time, he’ll get stronger, fitter, faster etc. He looks about 14 to me atm, though that probably shows my age.

Impressive he is in the U23 at the age of 17.

Ash

To be fair I’d also look 14 if I was standing next to the BFG

Anders Limpar

Ha yes, most 17 year olds aren’t genetic throwbacks to the stone age al la Wayne Rooney

Johnny 4 Hats

But how do we stop him Folarin the nest?

Aaron

You probably gotta Balogun them down first..

Omaha Ill

I think it’s unfair for journalists focusing on young players to describe a lack of strength as a concern. Everyone grows up differently and he should not rush to bulk up until he’s ready.

Biggles

That’s fair up to a point but football is a physical game and in the U23s (and more so in the senior squad) he’ll be up against players who already have “bulked up” and therefore runs the risk of being flattened – literally! Even the most skilful players need a physical “presence” and the club will be doing what they can to help him improve, rather than just letting him do it when he’s ready as you suggest.

David

I think it’s a fair point to make. In fact I think it speaks to how highly his technical abilities are regarded and how high his ceiling could be if he’s playing U23 football at such an early stage of his physical development.

Seb

I remember being frightened for Cesc’s life in his initial appearances for the 1st team, but his technical ability did actually fully mitigate any risks

Savage

Chose the right club to develop his career – imagine being a Chelsea or City youngster!

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Chelsea have produced some talent lately – Mount, Abraham, James, Gilmour, Hudson-Odoi, Loftus-Cheek, Gallagher – but of course they have the safety net of oil money to fall back on.
Though it would have been great if we could have kept Cech at the club to work with Mertesacker.

TOGooner

It’s true, you need to be absolutely elite to get a chance in those teams as an academy player. And even if you’re really good and work hard you’re still so easily replaceable but some very talented Germans as in the case of Hudson Odoi and Tammy Abraham. Chelsea only knows how to acquire the most talented youth players, but they always need to leave to become world class.

Biggles

He looks like he needs building up, doesn’t he. An unexpected sneeze by Mertesacker could blow the lad over.

Jeff

Love these updates but could you include the players’ position?

Anders Limpar

2nd Paragraph.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Second sentence says midfielder but I guess at that age talent are still developing their skills in numerous positions – a lá Saka, AMN, Willock, ESR who can all play more than one position. Let’s just assume he’s better than Willian already!

C.B.
fmikael

3 years ago Arsenal U14 participated in a junior cup tournament organized in my country. PSG & AZ Alkmaar were among the teams that participated in the tournament but we managed to qualify for the cup final against Arsenal. In the final our national U14 boys lost 1-2 but Charlie was the player that caught my eye in the Arsenal side that day. He was prominent in most of Arsenal build up play, was efficient, has a good left foot and a good engine. Not saying he is as good but his movement with the ball kinda remind me of… Read more »

walleye

That child is 17?
He played against u23’s? Wow