Arsenal are yet to activate an option to extend Charlie Patino’s contract at The Emirates.
That’s according to a report by The Athletic, who claim that, despite the 18-year-old being viewed as one of the rising stars of English football, Edu is yet to activate an option to extend the central midfielder’s deal for a further two years – with the teenager’s current contract set to expire at the end of the current campaign.
The report goes on to state that, should the technical director fail to active this clause before a pre-determined date in the coming months, the Brazilian will be left with no other choice but to renegotiate fresh terms with the England U20 international – or worse, risk losing out on the playmaker on a free transfer next summer.
While it is true that Arsenal’s decision to part with Ismael Bennacer was a conscious one by the club, should the Gunners fail to tie Patino down to a new deal in the coming months, the midfielder’s loss would undoubtedly represent a similar failure to letting the Algeria international leave back in 2017.
Indeed, since his departure from north London, the 24-year-old has gone from strength to strength, joining AC Milan in a £14.5m deal back in the summer of 2019, before establishing himself as an integral part of the Serie A side.
The £26.5m-rated talent has particularly impressed over his nine league outings this season, scoring one goal and creating one big chance for his teammates, in addition to making an average of 2.6 key passes, 2.1 tackles, 0.9 interceptions and winning 5.4 duels – at a success rate of 56% – per game.
These returns have seen the £47k-per-week midfielder average a simply sensational SofaScore match rating of 7.37, not only ranking him as Stefano Pioli’s third-best performer in the league but also as the 11th-best player in the Italian top flight as a whole.
And, while Patino is not currently delivering at a similar level, the £1.8m-rated talent more than demonstrated his undoubted ability in Blackpool’s recent 3-1 victory over Watford, making two key passes, taking two shots at goal, completing two crosses and two long balls and winning eight duels.
These returns saw the 18-year-old earn an extremely impressive SofaScore match rating of 7.2, ranking him as his side’s third-best performer on the day – a quite remarkable feat for such a young midfielder.
Speaking after the match, Michael Appleton heaped a considerable amount of praise on the England U20 international, stating (via The Metro):
“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. 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… I thought he was outstanding tonight, especially in that second half. 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.”
As such, Edu simply must avoid a repeat of Arsenal’s decision to cut ties with Bennacer on Patino, as it is clear to see that the Blackpool loanee is a talent who could well develop into a huge player for the Gunners further down the line.