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William Saliba inspires on-loan Arsenal star who is ready to replace Granit Xhaka

Charlie Patino has drawn inspiration from William Saliba and wants to break into Mikel Arteta’s first team at Arsenal.

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William Saliba
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Talented Arsenal star, Charlie Patino, currently on loan with Swansea is determined to follow in the footsteps of fellow Gunner, William Saliba, as he aspires to secure a spot in Mikel Arteta’s first team. The highly-rated 19-year-old has played only twice for Arsenal but holds the hope of becoming a central figure in Arteta’s project.

The departure of Granit Xhaka and uncertainty surrounding Kai Havertz’s suitability in a midfield role have left some speculating about the possibility of a vacancy in Arteta’s starting XI. 

Given Patino’s potential and skillset, he believes he stands a chance of competing for midfield minutes in the upcoming season, provided he continues to impress during his loan spells.

This promising teenager has shone in Arsenal’s youth ranks and has long been earmarked as a potential first-team player. Despite high expectations, Patino is yet to get his first-team opportunity, despite going on loan to Blackpool last season. While with The Seasiders, he made a significant impact in the Championship, contributing to six goals in 34 appearances. This season, he continues to gain valuable experience, currently playing for Swansea.

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For Patino, regular minutes at the senior level are imperative. He is eager to emulate the success of William Saliba, who made a name for himself on loan before returning to impress at Arsenal. 

Charlie Patino

Patino told the Daily Mail (via the Metro), admiring Saliba’s journey: “Saliba is a different player to me. He’s a centre-back, big, powerful, so for me, it’s inspiring to see someone from Arsenal being able to go on loan, make a name for himself and come back and show his qualities at Arsenal because it is a massive club.”

“Everyone’s journey is different. Bukayo Saka went straight from academy to first team, Eddie Nketiah went on a few loans, Emile Smith Rowe went on a few loans, so everyone’s journey is different,” he added.

Patino is aware that each player’s journey is unique, and he cited examples like Bukayo Saka, Eddie Nketiah, and Emile Smith Rowe, each of whom took a different path to the first team. 

He emphasized, “Ultimately, it’s about getting to where you want to get to, and that’s the same for me. I want to play in the first team at Arsenal, and being here is a massive pathway to help me do that.”

His undeniable talent, coupled with the experience gained in the competitive Championship, positions Patino well for a potential breakthrough into the first team in the coming season. He is diligently preparing for the Premier League and remains steadfast in his desire to make a lasting impact as an Arsenal player.

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