Charlie Patino has come in for further praise after impressing for Blackpool tonight, having joined on loan from Arsenal this summer.
The midfielder has been one of the brightest prospects in our academy in recent years, and was even given his debut under Mikel Arteta last season, impressing in the Europa League and cup competitions.
Whilst it was thought that he could have looked for further minutes in our senior side this term, the decision was made to allow him to leave on loan instead, and he has picked up plenty of minutes in the Championship with Blackpool thus far.
His manager Darren Appleton has come out with high praise for his loanee after tonight’s draw with Sunderland, claiming that he completely controlled the game.
’18 years old he still is, he can deal with the ball in any area of the pitch, go past people left side, right side,’ Appleton said in his post-match interview (via the Metro).
‘I said when he came to the club he’s as good as anything I’ve seen dealing with the ball and with good movement of the ball as you’ve seen tonight he can play as a six, can play as a ten, can play as an eight. He’s got a really, really good future ahead of him.
‘It’s important that we’ve got certain players in the team that can do that and deal with the ball.
‘Charlie’s already been mentioned but I thought he was outstanding tonight, especially in that second half.
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‘He controlled the game, it was his game, he played at his tempo when he wanted to speed it up he sped it up, when he wanted to slow it down he slowed it down, when he wanted to switch the play he did it.
‘It was a very mature performance from a very young lad.’
Patino has been one of the worst kept secrets from the youth side in recent years, and with him enjoying his spell on loan he could well be ready to vie for a first-team role next season. The 18 year-old could do with bulking up a little, but his mobility and ball control allows him to overcome his inexperience and shine regardless.
With his range of abilities, Patino could well play as the defensive or offensive option in the pivot, whilst he could also provide competition for Martin Odegaard down the line, but a full season without injury will likely be needed this season before we get carried away.
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