‘He can be an animal’ – 17 year-old named as Arsenal’s ‘best’ wonderkid

Charlie Patino has been hailed as the best wonderkid to have stepped foot inside the Arsenal academy.

The 17 year-old has been named as better than any other player to join the academy, ahead of the likes of Emile Smith Rowe, Bukayo Saka, Eddie Nketiah, Folarin Balogun, Jack Wilshere and Miguel Azeez to name but a few.

Unfortunately, he isn’t believed to be ready yet, but the club is claimed to have a ‘pathway’ prepared to bring him into the first-team in the near future, but he is deemed to have the most potential of all their former youth players.

“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 kid has got so much potential, but he’s not there yet,” Stapleton told Goal.

“There is a pathway that Arsenal have got for him and he’s probably going down the same pathway as Phil Foden at Manchester City.

“Charlie has an amazing awareness of where he is on the pitch and where other players are on the pitch. His vision is so good, he can split a defence with a pass.

“And he has that desire to do well. When he’s on that pitch he can be an animal, he’s a winner.”

Some teams must already be jealous of the talent that our academy is producing, and I’m proud that the current hierarchy is keen to progress with bringing our future stars into the first-team, and with such talent it should surely only be a matter of time before we are climbing back up the table, especially if the club is also going to continue to back the manager to bolster the squad in the way we have this summer.

Could you imagine a starting line-up including one of Eddie Nketiah or Folarin Balogun, along with the likes of ESR, Saka, Patino and Azeez all in behind the striker to showcase the hard work of the academy at Hale End?


Tags Charlie Patino


  1. If he is that good play him.

    Why isn’t he ready yet when he is that good? Surely if you are that good you are old and ready enough to play?

    1. Technically maybe he’s ready, but at 17 perhaps he isn’t physically, mentally and emotionally ready to play at this level.

  2. Fabragas in the first team and starring at 16. Adams a first team regular at 17. O’ Leary considered the best young budding centre half in Europe at 17 and a first team regular, and earning that title.

    IMO, those who are destined to be real SPECIAL class are clearly showing it at 15 to club insiders and bursting to get in the first team even then.

    SOME players do come through later but ALMOST ALL the true greats are already first team regulars by 17.
    So if PATINO IS CONSIDERED NOT READY AT 17, then chances are he will not be another great.


    The other salient fact to always bear in mind is the so common urge nowadays to prematurely hype some players as near world beaters when they are , in truth, miles from that.
    Of course some may argue , with justification, that our present manager is far too cautious with not giving youth its head. After all Willian, “still starring” at age 87, with his 35 year contract, has proved such a world beater! Hasn’t he !!

    1. True Jon – but also as in real life, all teenagers develop at different ages. Phillips, Vardy, Ian Wright, Klose, Drogba to name a few.
      And correct – as with the seniors, juniors are also labelled “the best ever” too readily.

      1. guy, Id query your ” ALL teenagers”.
        Certainly SOME do develop later but MOST are showing any future greatness, even though still raw, well inside their teens.
        Id say club insiders know at 15 IF they are destined for greatness or merely a career. I agree there will always be outliers but they are not the norm.
        On the other hand, not all hailed as future greats at say 15, ultimately make the grade , as one thing that cannot be easily predicted at that age is HOW they will handle increasing pressure of fame. Their essential mental toughness OR lack of it , I mean.
        Wilshere was an example of a possible great whose early lifestyle , even into his twenties stopped him developing into a great. The smoking , bad company and lack of intelligence or mental maturity when throwing himself crazily into 40/60 tackles whilst being a mere shrimp.

        Some will call that brave -and maybe it is – but it was also foolhardy and not intelligent.

        Those factors are still to be unfolded in a 15 year old with huge talent. Contrast SAKA and HIS mentality with Wilsheres and you may take my point.

      2. Or koscielny ! Comare him or look at senderos. Said to becomebome of the best CB in the world at 20 years old qhere he was best player of the month at arsenal. At this time koscielny was, until 22 years old was in french 3rd tier !!!!! And he ended up being one of the best in PL.

    2. jon, and when he finally gets a run in the first team, he will be flogged off to the first club to come in with an offer £20M for him. Then Arsenal will buy a replacement for £35M.
      As per the examples you gave all the title winning Arsenal teams from Bertie Mee, George Graham and Arsene Wenger have contained a proportion of home grown talent. Just maybe this is why those teams had very strong Club spirit.

      1. OZZIE , there can be no sensible doubt in all top teams, that players who come through the ranks from say age 8 will have a natural support and affinity for the club that such as Auba will never have.
        In the some way off future , when salaries are massively lower – as they will have to be if top level football is to survive, there being only a VERY few multi billionairies with fortunes to be at the disposal of fans wants and Kroenke is NOT one – I foresee all top clubs using far more academy players and far fewer expensive imports from abroad.

        HASTEN THAT DAY I say!

    3. @ Jon, “Willian still starring at 87, with his 35 year contract, has proved such a world beater”


      1. Skills1000, Not so much a laughing matter(“lol”). More a bitter irony pill that is impossible to swallow!

  3. Strange comment AOT. I assume you know the difference between potential and realised talent?
    I think you noticed that the article said “the best wonderkid to have stepped foot inside the Arsenal academy” NOT the best player to come OUT of the Arsenal Academy. There is a big difference in development between one and the other. If there wasn’t, we wouldn’t need an academy, would we?

    1. No-one said he must be a first team starter, you are overreacting like usual.

      Once a player shows potential, like he has, what is the best way for him to gain more experience? Possibly training with the 1st team and get a few cup games maybe?

      We overprotect the youngsters, well thats the excuse we are fed anyway. They will be perfectly fine playing the odd cup game and get invaluable experience. Remember when it took Martinelli almost 3 months to get 1 minute on the pitch after being fully fit?

    2. guy what your post answering AOT shows so clearly is the vast difference on JA between those who choose to PROPERLY think before posting and those who do not.

      One of the reasons I like debating with YOU so much is that you are one of the real thinkers. In fact, debating with other real thinkers is the only reason I stay on JA.

      My perennial mistake is to rise too easily to the nonsense and foolishness of the many non thinkers, instead of ignoring them. Perhaps that makes me a non thinker too. Sigh!

    3. Oooo sorry guy that I muddled in and out. See that (in/out) depends on your vantage point.

      The fact remains we have an academy to breed talent that will hopefully go into the first team And as I pointed out by myself and others on here; if you are good enough you are old enough..a.k.a ready..

      Plenty of 17yr olds have set their leagues alight at this age even if they didn’t turn out to be the next messi/ronaldo (messing was 16 and ronaldo 17).

  4. Play him in cup games if he’s that good.

    Will likely be some excuse along the lines of “We want to protect him so we’llplay him in 2 to 3 cups games with a run out at 88 mins”.

    Same applies to Azeez….PLAY HIM!

    Guess what is the best way to get EPL experience…go on…guess?

    1. That’s quite simple.

      The best way to gain EPL experience is to go out on a season long loan to a French club that plays in Ligue 1.

      1. Surely you forgot to add “…for the 2nd time” when you mentioned that seasoning tactic with players.

        Another way is to have them sit on the bench or stay at home and learn how NOT TO PLAY while watching an expensive winger flop all year.

        1. Durand, just to clarify you mean Willian as the “expensive winger flop”, not Pepe, who has improved each season?

  5. Instead of spending an exorbitant amount of time on another so-called “unicorn” prospect, let’s focus on the now…with this in mind, let’s evaluate where we stand so far in this most seminal of windows

    on a positive note we’ve shored up a lower end but important priority by acquiring some depth at LB, we’ve added a midfielder who looks to be trending upwardly in Lokonga, albeit not the kind of player who will immediately reinvent our Best 11 wheel and we paid over the number for a defending prospect that we can only hope will come good in the coming years

    whereas on the negative side of the equation, we haven’t addressed our most pressing needs in the midfield or upgraded our RB position

    we have an incredibly bloated roster, with the only departures being the problem-child Guendo and the player whom our manager claimed would get a “fair shot” in the preseason

    we have upwards of 10 players who need to be either sold on or loaned out, yet very little definitive incoming information regarding their respective statuses

    it’s likewise starting to look like we’ll not only retain the services of the underwhelming Swiss miss, but we might even extend his contract and give him a f’ing RAISE

    we appear to have interest in a myriad of players, including the overpriced and underperforming Ramsdale and Berge, the now vastly cheaper Aouar, who’s agent appears to be trying to stir the hornet nests by publicly announcing that they’re not so patiently waiting for our club to make a serious offer, yet we seem to be ghosting them and we seem somewhat infatuated with either the notion of acquiring Maddison from LC or at least pretending to be interested so as to appease an increasingly restless fanbase, which is a ploy we’re all-too-familiar with…fact is, unless LC is open to a swap, this will likely never amount to anything

    it’s looking more and more likely that we’ll be selling the only asset that raised his market value while on loan, Willock, even though we desperately need some secondary scoring from our midfield positions

    to top it all off, we have a largely unsettled Keeper situation and the f’ing injury jinx just might be making it’s unwelcomed return into our midfield ranks, which would be disastrous….based on our present roster options, we can ill-afford to go through another nightmare scenario with our best midfielder again

    so anybody who reads this and thinks were in a good place, especially following the piss-poor showing last season and the resulting promises that were made, please let me know what your smoking because I want a shit-ton of that herb pronto

    1. TRVL, You and I often see things so differently. BUT on reading your to the point and analytical dissection of where we are right now , it is hard to gainsay anything you say.
      I would however disassociate myself from how you PHRASED your final paragraph, as I prefer more cultured language, even though we both use straight to the point way of speaking.
      It is certain that as of right now , with the Brentford game a mere week away, the MAIN problems remain unaltered. For me, the new contract for abysmal XHAKA IS THE LAST STRAW WITH THIS MANAGER, IF COMPLETED.

      1. Great comment TRVL
        Especially the bit about Maddison and the seasonal play with fans emotions regarding big Signings that always seem to fade into the background .
        Stop the bullsh1t either sign said player or keep your mouth shut .

    2. TRVL4e, if Arsenal has £70 million to pay over the odds to prise James Maddison from Leicester City, why not make Lyon a “one stop shop”?
      Unlike Leicester City, Lyon after winning Ligue 1 have financial problems and must sell players. Arsenal could offer a package deal for Houssem Aouar (ACM) and Bruno Guimaraes (DM), fill two needed position and have change left over for Onana, as a back up goalkeeper, plus extra left over.
      The added advantage is that Arsenal is not funding an opponent in Leicester City and overpaying for Maddison, who although an excellent footballer, is injury prone, has had disciplinary issues and may want to come to Arsenal for purely money and the bright lights of London.

      1. Ozziegunner
        Brilliant comment with realistic solutions to our most severe problems.
        Perfect example of how to solve problems and getting the most value from the funds available.

        However Arteta has starry eyes for some players, and goes to shocking lengths to fulfill his obsessions.

        Continuing to field Willian or extending Xhaka, Arteta ignores consequences trying to prove his brilliance to the world.

        Saliba is another example. Arteta didn’t consider him “ready” played him 2 preseason games and sent him on loan.

        This year without seeing him play a single minute, decided he’s still “not ready” and shipped him off.

        However in spite of Willian flopping and Xhaka amassing more cards than goals or assists, they are “ready?”

        Best though is Arteta thinking himself “ready.” Out of European games and went on an undefeated run at season’s end TO FINISH 8TH!

        Some bashed Wenger for late runs & finishing 4th, yet will praise Arteta in spite of finishing 8th.

        Be careful of the Kool-aid

        1. Durand, thank you and this is why I believe Unai Emery was hard done by, although he has the solace of his handsome payout and the Europa Cup (his fourth) he won with Villarreal.

  6. Bring him on in the Cup games if he is that good. Liverpool have 16 year olds making their debuts for the first team, we should not allow talent to be wasted. BTW Willock should not be sold he is very much essential to the Arsenal project, a wonderful goal scoring midfielder, there are few for us in that category.

  7. A wonder kid like that should not be left in the academy instead he should be upgraded to first-team so as to gain experience.

    1. From the photo above it looks like he’s already training alongside some of the older academy players!

  8. Very encouraging that another youngster isn’t far away from taking the next step.
    I understand the desire to get him on the pitch but would personally trust his coaches to be sure he is sufficiently ready. There will always be the 16/17 yr old exceptions. I think Saka at his tender age is one of those exceptions

  9. why are we only hearing this chaps name right now ?. surely, he did not become a “beast” overnight !.are we being told about him to make us feel good in the sense that this lad is like a new signing i wonder.i have never heard of hhim until now, and, suddenly he is hot,hot news.aomething is going on here, me thinks.

    1. Maybe you’re only hearing about him now but he’s been talked about for a couple of years.

    2. I think Arteta has issues disciplinary issues with Saliba. I remember Saliba and Guendozi throwing jibes at Arteta following his last loan.

    3. Gerry, it’s worth while following the progress of Arsenal youth teams on YouTube. Some exciting talents and good football and it’s free!

  10. ARGOONER,so, what you are saying is that you have heard of him a couple of years ago ?. do i have that correct ?. if this is the case then i withdraw my “like a new signing”remark.

    1. Coming through the youth teams he was always regarded as one to watch, you’ll even find articles referring to him online a couple of years ago. Its not say that he will become a superstar as there are always players who are lauded but don’t make it, I’m just saying that he hasn’t exactly come from nowhere.

        1. Thanks, although it want particularly difficult, there aren’t too many 11 year olds that have their transfers reported on by the national media. In fact these latest quotes seem to come from an interview with an Arsenal scout about a year ago, and are just know being reported and regurgitated. I just don’t get this “i haven’t heard of him so he can’t be any good” mentality that fans have. The same regarding managers’ favorites, thinking we know better how pick/manage a team. As fans what we don’t know about these players could fill a phonebook.

          1. ARGOONER, fair play to you , i had never heard of him, thats all i was saying.you, are obviously a far better fan than i am , so good on ya.

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