Arsenal teenager Patino in line for the first-team debut amid Barcelona interest

Emirates Stadium-Arsenal

The 17-year-old exciting talent is attracting interest from Barcelona.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is reportedly set to hand teenager Charlie Patino a place in the first-team squad to fend off interest from European giants Barcelona.

The Catalan club is keen on adding the 17-year-old to their youth ranks but Arsenal don’t want to lose him at any cost.

After impressing at the U-18 side over the last two seasons, the English teenager has been promoted to the Gunners’ reserves side this term.

Patino, who plays as a central midfielder, is said to have left the Gunners’ first-team players in awe in training.

In a measure to keep him protected from Europe’s top clubs, the North Londoners are preparing a long term for Patino once he turns 18.

Furthermore, Arteta is ready to call him to the first-team squad for next week’s EFL Cup game against Wimbledon.

The Spanish manager, perhaps, was impressed by Patino’s showings in the last month’s friendly against Brentford.

The Gunners scout Brian Stapleton, who discovered Patino, has claimed that the teenager has all the talent in the world to be a superstar at Emirates Stadium.

Stapleton said: ” Of all the years I’ve been scouting, he’s the best kid I’ve ever seen.“I got a tip-off about Charlie from a guy, so I went over there and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. He was 11 and I think he was playing in the Under-13s, and I was like ‘wow’.

“His first touch was unbelievable, his vision, his awareness of space. He was way above his years, he was on another planet to anyone else on the pitch.”

The Gunners have been off to a rocky start to this season, suffering three consecutive defeats in the Premier League before winning against Norwich City. They will face Burnley away on Saturday.