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Per Mertesacker raves about Arsenal teenager, says he's 'very talented'

Arsenal academy director Per Mertesacker has heaped praise on talented Gunners player Charlie Patino, during an interview with Football London.

The 17-year-old is already a regular with the under-23 outfit and has made seven appearances during 2021/22.

Patino has scored once and registered one assist during the current campaign. He’s also showcased a versatility to play in a number of roles.

Some have called upon Mikel Arteta to hand him a first-team chance, although at such a tender age that looks unlikely.

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He is set for a bright future though. The youngster typically operates as a conventional central midfielder and is thriving in the under-23s.

Arsenal typically like to utilise the loan market with some of their young players. Miguel Azeez, for example, is currently with Portsmouth for the 2021/22 campaign.

Mertesacker says that isn’t a conversation they’ve had about Patino just yet.

He told Football London: “We always knew that Charlie is very talented with what he can produce for our youth teams.

“The link with the first team was always there and he got some exposure this summer.

“His plan was always to stay with the under-23s and then be exposed to the first team at some stage.

“That was always the plan for this season for him so there was not a loan conversation to be made yet.”

Patino has a bright Arsenal future

The youngster has bags of time on his side and looks like becoming a star of the future at Arsenal.

The teenager has been doing great things in the under-23 ranks and with a bit of fine-tuning, he could really shine.

Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images

Interestingly, Arteta could be the ideal manager for him. The youngster plays a similar role to what the boss did and he could take a serious interest in his progress.

A first-team call looks inevitable at some point and Patino could be the next shining light to emerge from the Arsenal academy.

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