The youngster left Luton Town for Arsenal this month.
— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) April 29, 2015
Earlier this month the Daily Mail reported that Arsenal has beaten a host of rival clubs to the signing of talented 11-year-old Charlie Patino. The likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and Chelsea had all apparently been after the player, but he left Luton Town’s academy for Arsenal, with The Gunners paying £10,000 in compensation.
Now his father Julio has been discussing the move to Arsenal. He has explained to Luton Today this week just why the boy decided that he would be on his way to Arsenal at this age:
“Opportunities like this don’t come too often so you’ve got to take them and we’re absolutely delighted for him.
“When clubs like Arsenal, Chelsea, Man City, Tottenham, come knocking on your door, there’s a reason behind it and you can’t just say ‘no thanks, I’m quite happy where I am.’
“There’s only so many extra training sessions a week you can give a child before you realise they’re at a level where they need to move on.
“Luton Town didn’t want to lose Charlie, they absolutely love him there, but they realised for him to develop further he needs to move on.”
Arsenal have clearly done well in recent times with the development of young players. The likes of Cesc Fabregas, Jack Wilshere and Hector Bellerin spring to mind as success stories from the Arsenal system. Now they have the likes of Dan Crowley and Gedion Zelalem coming through.
Patino is still at least five years off of first-team football in a realistic sense. In the past young footballers who have courted attention this early in their football journey often end up flopping.
But for every Freddy Adu there is also a Lionel Messi. Arsenal will hope Patino turns out to be more like the latter.