Arsenal

Mikel Arteta hails Charlie Patino's 'beautiful' debut

By Sean Walsh
Charlie Patino is highly regarded at Arsenal
Charlie Patino is highly regarded at Arsenal / GLYN KIRK/GettyImages
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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta praised teenager Charlie Patino after he scored on his senior debut in the Gunners' 5-1 EFL Cup win over Sunderland - but warned that he and the club need to carefully manage his development.

Eddie Nketiah grabbed a hat trick and Nicolas Pepe also got on the scoresheet before 18-year-old Patino came off the bench to secure Arsenal's passage to the semi-finals.

Arsenal fans had been desperate to get a glimpse of one of their highest-rated youngsters this season, and Arteta threw Patino on for the final ten minutes on Tuesday night in place of Emile Smith Rowe, and the Emirates Stadium faithful were singing his name come full time.

“[It was] a beautiful moment,” Arteta said of Patino's debut in his post-match press conference. “He is a kid that is coming through our system, a lovely kid. He is training with us almost every week. It was a dream. As a debut to come here, to score in front of our fans, a really special moment.

“I think that is very positive [that the fans were chanting his name]. They heard about him and know what he can become and now we have to cook him slowly. Today was a good start, I think."

However, Arteta was keen to stress the need to temper expectations with Patino - who arrived at Arsenal as an 11-year-old for a transfer fee of £10,000 - and that he still has plenty of work to do in order to stay in the first team.

“[Too much hype around him] is what we have to avoid," Arteta added. "He still has a lot of competition in front of him. He is really young. And he needs to go step by step. Today he was lucky, he got the opportunity and he took it really well.”

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