Rio Ferdinand says Arsenal have teenager with 'beautiful way' of playing
Rio Ferdinand has told BT Sport (broadcast on 1/1; 11:42) that it is a joke how good Charlie Patino looks whenever he watches the Arsenal starlet, as he named the midfielder as his Premier League young player to watch in 2022.
The Gunners suffered a disappointing defeat against Manchester City on New Year’s Day. The result was all the more difficult to stomach because Arsenal had played so well against the champions.
In many respects, the game has provided further proof that Arsenal are moving in the right direction. And of course, one of the main reasons that there is such optimism is the raft of young players at the Emirates with incredibly exciting futures ahead.
The likes of Emile Smith Rowe, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli are now regular fixtures in Mikel Arteta’s plans. And they have players such as Folarin Balogun also knocking on the door.
But perhaps the Arsenal player with the most potential is Patino. The 18-year-old made his first-team debut in the Carabao Cup last month, scoring the final goal against Sunderland. And he has already been linked with Barcelona.
‘It’s a joke’
And when asked to pick out the starlet to watch out for in the coming 12 months, Ferdinand suggested that Patino is the player that he cannot wait to see more of.
“Go on YouTube and watch his clips. It’s a joke what you see,” he told BT Sport. “The talent he’s got. I’ve spoken to people at Arsenal and what they say about him in terms of this kid, talent-wise, he could potentially be the best of the lot that’s come out in recent years.
“Very balanced kid, but has the fundamentals in his game to really, really go to the top of the tree. I think he’ll get the opportunities here.
“When you watch him, there’s a beautiful way he plays, the balance, the rhythm. The fans will enjoy watching him.”
Charlie Patino can set sights on first-team opportunities at Arsenal in 2022
Arteta has proved that he has few issues with putting faith in younger players. In fact, the seven players to have made the most appearances in the Premier League this term are all 24 or under.
The centre of midfield is perhaps one area Arteta will hope to strengthen in the future. And with that, it is not out of the question for Patino to feature a lot more for Arsenal in the months to come.
Certainly, it seems a matter of when, rather than if, he becomes a first-team regular for Arsenal.
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