Charlie Patino looks set for his first appearance in an Arsenal first-team squad next week, facing AFC Wimbledon in the League Cup.
Chris Wheatley reports on his YouTube channel that Charlie Patino is likely to be in the Arsenal squad for the upcoming League Cup game against AFC Wimbledon at the Emirates Stadium. The midfielder is expected to be on the bench for the game.
Patino is reportedly impressing in his sessions with the Arsenal first team, and he’s certainly doing well with the u23s. He scored an excellent solo goal against Manchester United most recently, winning the ball and beating three players before chipping home.
— Arsenal Academy (@ArsenalAcademy) September 12, 2021
You always need a bit of luck to get a chance at Arsenal though, and it seems Patino might have that fortune as well. It just so happens Granit Xhaka (suspension) and Mohamed Elneny (injury) will both be absent for the AFC Wimbledon clash.
Arsenal still have options in midfield, with Thomas Partey, Albert Sambi Lokonga, and Ainsley Maitland-Niles all available. But at least two of those three will probably start both league games on either side of the League Cup fixture.
If they need a rest in between, even if it’s only for part of the cup game, Patino is probably the foremost midfield alternative in the academy right now.
As well as the u23 Manchester United victory, Patino also did well in the EFL Trophy last week.
Though the Arsenal u21s lost 2-1 to Swindon Town’s first team, Patino put in an excellent display from midfield. He won 18 of his 21 individual duels, earned nine free-kicks, made five tackles, and created two chances despite his deeper role.
With Patino seemingly set to get a chance with the first team, even if it’s only on the bench for now, we seem to be on track for him to receive his new contract in October.
Reports earlier in the summer suggested he’d sign a new Arsenal deal once he turns 18. Per Mertesacker has reportedly earmarked him as a potential future first-team regular.
Charles Watts reported at the time that Patino wasn’t being earmarked for a loan, and he was more likely to follow Bukayo Saka’s career path, joining the u23s before linking up straight with the first team. That seems to be how it’s panning out.