Charlie Patino is certainly a name that not many will be familiar with, but is one we could be hearing a lot about in the future.
He may only be 11-years-old, but the wonderkid already has the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham vying for his signature, and having been earmarked as the next Jack Wilshere; the youngster looks set for a bright future in the game.
Just like the Arsenal and England star, Patino is creating quite a fuss over at Luton and even at this early age is already attracting the interest of London’s biggest clubs.
The midfielder trains six times a week, spending in excess of 10 hours a week at the club in various age groups across the academy where he then plays a match every Sunday.
Perhaps it’s down to his Spanish parents that the young English born talent has been gifted with a wonderful touch and great ability on the ball that help him make the game look effortless at times.
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Charlie already has a great interest in Spanish football and enjoys analysing it, particularly Barcelona who he says are his favourite team, and it’s a style of play that has already influenced his game.
He may only be 11, but he and his family are already in the process of making a life changing decision, that could impact heavily on his career as a footballer.
The family have visited the training complexes of all three of the Premier League sides interested in him, who have all pitched their intentions to the Patino’s in order to bring him to their academy.
A fee of around £10,000 is thought to be what’s required, a big price for someone so young but with his potential one that is no doubt worth chancing.
But while the opportunity is sure to be creating plenty of excitement, the family are keeping their feet on the ground and are taking their time to weigh up each offer before making a decision at the end of the season.
A hardworking intelligent lad who impresses at school and loves his football, he may look at Wilshere’s rise to success at Arsenal as the deciding factor in his future.
Like Patino, the Arsenal midfielder highlighted his huge potential at Luton’s academy where he was courted by West Ham, Tottenham and the Gunners who all offered him a passage to the Premier League.
Arsenal won the battle for Wilshere and he joined the club at just nine-years-of-age, where he was nurtured and developed into a first-team star six years later when only 16.
And despite being hampered by injuries during his career at the Emirates, he hasn’t looked back since, showcasing his talents on the biggest stage where he has become one of the Premier League’s top midfielders.
Wilshere’s journey could well inspire Patino to follow a similar path, and there’s no doubt Arsenal would be the perfect club to grow and develop as a player with the hope of one day earning a professional contract.
And while the family knows there is no guarantee of anything coming from such a move, their son Charlie has a huge opportunity and is already showing all the signs that he could one day emulate Wilshere and become an influential player in the heart of the Arsenal team; if they can fend of Chelsea and Tottenham that is.
It’s a difficult decision to make at any age, yet alone for an 11-year-old, but no doubt one that most youngsters dream about.
Charlie Patino; a name to take note of.