Patino hands Arteta timely boost with Arsenal wonderkid shining in new role

Patino has starred for Arsenal Under 23s in Premier League 2, putting in another impressive performance on Friday night against Brighton, in a boost to Arteta amid Granit Xhaka’s injury

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Mikel Arteta laments Xhaka injury blow for Arsenal

Charlie Patino has handed Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta a timely boost amid news that Granit Xhaka is expected to be ruled out with a knee injury for up to three months.

The Swiss international sustained the issue in the North London derby win over Tottenham when he was accidentally caught by Lucas Moura.

Xhaka was forced to limp off and was replaced by Albert Sambi Lokonga before being seen by a specialist who found he had suffered a significant injury to his medical knee ligament.

Though he does not require surgery, Xhaka will be ruled out for much of the rest of 2021 in a major blow to Arteta.

Arsenal wonderkid Charlie Patino has handed Mikel Arteta a boost with a successful change in position

The Spaniard admitted losing the midfielder would be a big loss, but insisted that his absence meant others had to step up.

“He’s a strong man he will use this time to focus on other things and I’m sure he will be back in the right place when he’s back. He will be missed but other players have to step in,” Arteta said.

“We are here to help him and I’m sure we’ll find some ways around it because we have some really good players who can do the job.”

One of those players who could “step in” is wonderkid Patino, who has spent much of this season adapting to a new deep-lying role, similar to the one Xhaka performs.

Should Mikel Arteta hand Charlie Patino his debut soon? Comment below.

Patino has previously been compared to Jack Wilshere, but seven of his appearances this campaign have come as a defensive midfielder.

One of those outings was as captain in a defeat to Swindon Town in the Papa Johns’ Trophy.

The most recent of those appearances came on Friday night as Arsenal ’s Under-23s hosted Brighton in Division 1 of the reserve competition, Premier League 2.

Patino played all 90 minutes of what was a comfortable 3-0 win for the young Gunners, being selected in a Xhaka-style role.

Patino impressed in a Xhaka-style role for Arsenal Under 23s against Brighton

The Englishman impressed with his long passing range for Kevin Betsy’s men, who have lost just one of their seven games in the competition so far.

Patino has been a key part of that success, scoring in the win over Manchester United Under 23s and notching an assist against Chelsea Under 23s, both from a deeper role.

It had been expected that Patino would make his long-awaited senior debut in the Carabao Cup against AFC Wimbledon.

But Arteta opted not to include him in the squad which eased past the League One side, though he insisted that Patino’s first game was not far away.

Arteta has insisted that Patino’s debut is not far away

“He was very close. But at the end we decided that some players needed minutes. It will happen naturally with time,” Arteta said.

“Charlie’s been good. He played a practice match at Colney and he was really good. Again, give him time and we will prepare him.”

Though reserve football to the Premier League is a massive jump in quality, with Patino performing so well in a Xhaka-style role, he could force Arteta’s hand to finally give him a chance.

But having played all 90 minutes when Arsenal’s Under 23s beat Brighton on Friday, Patino is unlikely to play any role when the senior teams meet at the Emirates on Saturday evening.

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