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Mikel Arteta ‘loves’ Arsenal youngster who could earn first-team call up

Arsenal are still going through somewhat of a transition under Mikel Arteta since his arrival last December.

And the Spanish boss could call upon 17-year-old Charlie Patino as he looks to bleed more youngsters into the senior side in the coming months.

Patino has already been compared to the likes of Gunners favourite Jack Wilshere and Manchester City star Phil Foden, despite his age.

And his father, Julio, claims Arteta 'loves' his son, who recently signed his first professional contract with the club.

“We are happy to sign that first contract, Charlie has worked hard,” Julio told Spanish outlet La Opinión a Coruña.

“Arteta and all the technicians love him, but not only for what he does on the pitch.

“He doesn’t give problems, he listens, he asks them, he is interested in what they tell him.”

Arsenal beat a host of their rivals to sign Patino, paying Luton £10,000 for the teenager back in 2015.

Aged 11 at the time, the Watford-born midfielder had already caught the eye of European heavyweights.

But the move to Arsenal was a no-brainer.

"Opportunities like this don’t come too often so you’ve got to take them and we’re absolutely delighted for him," Julio told Luton Herald & Post five years ago.

“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.’

"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."

Patino has already impressed for England at youth level.

He captained the Under-16s as a 14-year-old against Spain.

Patino has been training with the first-team in recent months as he hopes to secure first-team football in the near future.

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