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Mikel Arteta gives green light to loan for Arsenal wonderkid ‘better than Jack Wilshere’

Charlie Patino made his first team breakthrough last season, scoring within minutes of his debut, and has been hailed by some club staff as being the best prospect the club has had in years.

Arsenal wonderkid Charlie Patino looks set for his first real taste of regular football as the Gunners prepare to despatch him out on loan to the Championship.

The 18-year-old burst onto the scene last season amid plenty of hype. Patino has previously been described as the “best player who has ever walked through the doors at Hale End” by head of scouting at Arsenal, Sean O’Connor.

And he certainly delivered on his first team debut, netting against Sunderland in an EFL Cup tie last December barely ten minutes after coming off the bench. He played one further senior game that term, against Nottingham Forest in a shock FA Cup third round exit.

Now, Gunners’ chief Mikel Arteta is poised to sanction a loan arrangement that will see Patino join second tier Blackpool for the duration of the campaign.

Blackpool already have three Premier League youngsters on loan: Manchester City’s Lewis Fiorini, Liverpool’s Rhys Williams and Wolves ‘ Theo Corbeanu. It is thought the Tangerines beat off a number of other clubs to the temporary signing of Patino, who Arsenal believe will be in safe hands under respected Blackpool head coach Michael Appleton.

The key for Patino is to force his way into the team and try to get as much experience as possible. It bears a similar resemblance to when Jack Wilshere was sent out on loan, also aged 18, to Bolton back in 2010. Many believe Patino has the potential to be as good as if not better than Wilshere.

Speaking back in 2018 about how important that first taste of regular football and life away from home comforts was, Wilshere said: “It was a massive learning curve.

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Charlie Patino is highly-rated at Arsenal but is poised to spend the season out on loan.

“You’re playing with people who need to win games. Need to get their win bonus.

“Need to win for the fans. That’s a different mentality than youth football. It made me grow up. Gary Cahill was there. Kevin Davies. This is a Bolton team known for being horrible. They let me develop. Sometimes in midfield when I got the ball I’d try and beat a player but I’d lose it. But they encouraged me to keep going. They were brilliant with me.”

Patino appears to have been preparing for the physicality of men’s football after images posted on his social media showed him looking more bulked up compared to last season.

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Jack Wilshere credits a loan spell at Bolton when he was 18 as having a huge impact on his career.

Speaking to Goal.com last season, Patino reflected on his breakthrough.

“This season has been great for me,” he said. “Playing games with the under-23s, whether that be in Premier League 2 or against men in the Papa John’s Trophy. Then getting the call-up to be with the first team for eight or nine weeks was amazing.

“I know the difference now between the first team and the under-23s and it’s massive. The speed of the game, the quality, how quick they move the ball, the strength of the players. Just getting that understanding of where I need to be, how much gym I need to do, the technical and tactical side of the game. It’s all been so important. Now I just want to kick on.”

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