‘It’s a joke what you’ll see’: Why England and Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand rates Blackpool’s new signing so highly

Rio Ferdinand believes Charlie Patino could go on to become the best player out of Arsenal’s current crop of youngsters.

Thursday, 4th August 2022, 9:00 am

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The likes of Emile Smith-Rowe and Bakayo Saka have come through the ranks at the Emirates Stadium in recent years under Mikel Arteta.

But given what he’s seen of Patino, Ferdinand wouldn’t be surprised to see the 18-year-old midfielder to top the lot.

“Just go on YouTube and watch his clips, it’s a joke what you’ll see with the talent he’s got,” Ferdinand told BT Sport in January 2020.

“I’ve spoken to people at Arsenal and what they say about him talent wise, he could be the best of the lot to come out of the club in recent years.

“It’s a huge bar, but this kid has the talent and the big part of him is the mentality. Whenever you speak to anyone about him, mentally he doesn’t get carried away, he doesn’t get too low or too high. He’s a very balanced kid.

Ferdinand has been impressed by what he's seen from Blackpool's latest recruit

“He has all the fundamentals in his game to go right to the top of the tree and I think he will get the opportunities here. Mikel Arteta has shown with Smith-Rowe and Saka he’s introducing these young players.

“This kid is the next one on the runway to come out and when you watch him, there’s a beauty to the way he plays with the balance and the rhythm. The fans will enjoy watching him.

“What I liked about him when he came on the other day, the fans were singing his name because they know what they’ve got here. They’ve just got to let him breath now.”

The 18-year-old, described as one of Arsenal’s most talented youngsters, has already made two appearances for Mikel Arteta’s side.

Patino scored on his debut against Sunderland in the Carabao Cup last season before featuring against Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup.

Patino has been part of Arteta’s first-team squad in pre-season but on the eve of the Premier League season, the Gunners have decided a loan move and regular first-team football is the best way to aid his development.