Arsenal loanee Charlie Patino is backing himself to follow William Saliba’s lead and break into Mikel Arteta’s team after several loan spells.
The highly-regarded youngster has featured just twice for the Gunners, but there’s certainly hope that he’ll one day emerge as a leading light in Arteta’s project.
With Granit Xhaks departing the club and question marks surrounding Kai Havertz’s viability in a midfield role, it appears as if there might be a vacancy in Arteta’s starting XI. Given Patino’s profile, he may well fancy his chances of competing for midfield minutes next season should he continue to impress out on loan.
Arsenal loanee Charlie Patino hoping to follow William Saliba’s lead
The 19-year-old dazzled in the youth ranks and has long been earmarked as a potential first-teamer in north London. However, his chances are yet to arrive with Patino earning his maiden loan move away last season as he joined Blackpool.
Patino was largely impressive in the second tier, notching six goal contributions in 34 Championship appearances, and he’s returned to the division this season; currently plying his trade for Swansea.
Regular minutes at a senior level are imperative for the teenager, and that’s exactly what he’s got in a mightily competitive league. Despite his youth, Patino hopes he can follow Saliba’s lead and break into the Arsenal first-team after starring out on loan.
“Saliba is a different player to me. He’s a centre-back, big, powerful, so for me, it’s inspiring to see someone from Arsenal being able to go on loan, make a name for himself and come back and show his qualities at Arsenal because it is a massive club.”Patino told the Daily Mail (via the Metro).
“Everyone’s journey is different. Bukayo Saka went straight from academy to first team, Eddie Nketiah went on a few loans, Emile Smith Rowe went on a few loans, so everyone’s journey is different,” he added.
“Ultimately, it’s about getting to where you want to get to, and that’s the same for me. I want to play in the first team at Arsenal and being here is a massive pathway to help me do that.”
Given his talent and the experience he’s gained in the second tier, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Patino breakthrough for the Gunners next season. The midfielder is bulking up in preparation for the Premier League, with his future desires clear: he wants to be a Gooner for a very long time.