The Arsenal wonderkids who could save Mikel Arteta millions: Charlie Patino ready for first-team opportunities

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 (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
(Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal’s young stars at the Hale End academy only need to look at the first-team to see the opportunities are there for them to break into Mikel Arteta’s plans.

Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe are just two of those to have recently made the jump into the senior side and shine and Arteta could soon be looking for some of the club’s brightest talents to make the step up.

With Europa League games to come next season, and the financial hit from missing out on Champions League football, filling gaps in the squad with youngsters could prove crucial in what will be a busier campaign for the Gunners.

Ahead of the new Premier League season, we look at three Arsenal youngsters who could be set to shine in 2022-23…

Charlie Patino

Charlie Patino had a debut to remember when he came on against Sunderland in the Carabao Cup in December to score as Arsenal won 5-1.

Mikel Arteta was full of praise for the midfielder after the match but vowed to be patient with his development.

“A beautiful moment,” the boss said.

“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.

“[Too much hype around him] is what we have to avoid. He still has a lot of competition in front of him. He is really young. And he needs to go step by step.”

Arsenal are evidently in the market for a midfielder this summer, with Youri Tielemans and Oleksandr Zinchenko among the names linked with a move to north London.

However, with money now tighter following the failure to secure Champions League football, Patino could provde a crucial option in terms of squad depth next season, particularly if the Gunners miss out on their top targets, and could find plenty of opportunities to come in the Europa League.

 (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
(Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Omari Hutchinson

Should Omari Hutchinson stay in north London next season rather than go out on loan, there is every chance he could enjoy a breakthrough season.

Bukayo Saka played in every single Premier League match this campaign, with Arteta evidently not keen on Nicolas Pepe as a back-up options. The Gunners will likely be keen to sell the Ivorian should a decent bid come in.

Another option in that position is badly needed and rather than spending big on a winger that will have to accept being behind Saka in the pecking order, giving those minutes to Hutchinson makes sense.

The 18-year-old scored ten goals and assisted seven for the U23 side this season, playing primarily on the right wing, and he could be an ideal option in Europe and in the cup competitions.

 (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
(Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Folarin Balogun

There is a perfect blueprint for Folarin Balogun to follow as he returns from his loan spell from Middlesbrough.

Eddie Nketiah took his chance in the first-team at the end of last season and now looks set to stay with the Gunners, though there is not yet confirmation that he has signed a new deal.

Arsenal look certain to sign a new striker, whether that be Gabriel Jesus or someone else, with Nketiah set to battle them for the starting role up front in the side.

However, Balogun has the chance in pre-season to prove himself to Arteta and show that there is no need for two new striker additions.

The Arsenal wonderkids who could save Mikel Arteta millions

Even as third-choice striker, there will likely be minutes for Balogun. Smith Rowe and Saka both used the Europa League to shine in the first-team, and Balogun has the chance to do just that.

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