“best to come out of the Hale End”- Rio Ferdinand hails Arsenal wonderkid Charlie Patino
Patino, like England internationals Saka and Smith Rowe, was highly rated within the Hale End Academy for a number of years and is now a well-known name at the Emirates.
The 18-year-old scored his first goal for the Gunners on his first-team debut during a 5-1 win against Sunderland in the Carabao Cup earlier this month.
Ferdinand told BT Sport when asked why he backs Patino to become a breakthrough star: “Just watching him, go on YouTube and watch his clips. It’s a joke, what you see. The talent he’s got…
But [he] has all the fundamentals in his game to really go to the top of the tree.
“I think he will get the opportunities here, I think Mikel Arteta is somebody we’ve seen with Emile Smith Rowe [and] with Saka.
“He’s introducing the young players. And This kid is the next. I just feel, when you watch him, there’s a beautiful way he plays, the balance, the rhythm, the fans will enjoy watching him.
” I’ve spoken to people at Arsenal and what they say about him in terms of this kid, talent-wise, could potentially be the best of the lot that’s come out in recent years. It’s a huge bar, but this kid has the talent and the big, big part of him is his mentality.
‘When you talk to anybody who knows him, mentally, he doesn’t get carried away, doesn’t get too low, doesn’t get too high, very balanced kid, but has all the fundamentals in his game to really go to the top of the tree.
Patino and Partey in training”I just feel when you watch him there’s a beautiful wave. The balance, the rhythm The fans will enjoy watching him and what I liked about him is that when he came on the other day they were singing his name.
Also Reiss Nelson the man who picked out Bukayo Saka as one to ‘watch out for’ all the way back in 2018 sent three powerful message to the Gunners after Patino scintillating display against Swindon city
Likewise Brian Stapleton, the Arsenal scout who discovered Patino told Goal: “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.
“I made a phone call to my head of my department at Arsenal at the time
“Sean O’Connor discovered Jack Wilshere and he said to me that Charlie is the best player who has ever walked through the doors at Hale End.”
The 18-year-old has been noted for his humble and polite demeanour off the pitch, and it is for this reason that there is a particular will to see him succeed in delivering on his potential.
“I am delighted, but that’s down to all the work that has been done in the academy and at the club for many years,” Arteta said said. “These are the fruits of that work.”
While Tuesday night was his first taste of senior action, the 18-year-old has been acclimatising himself to the first team level in regular training sessions, where Ben White is among the many players to have stated how much he has impressed.