The father of Arsenal wonderkid Charlie Patino has been talking about the motivation behind his son's decision to join the Premier League giants from League Two outfit Luton Town at the tender age of 11.
Arsene Wenger won the race for the burgeoning young talent's signature, beating a host of top-flight rivals - including Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City - by agreeing to pay the newly-promoted club £10,000 in compensation.
The Blues actually offered Luton double the amount of money to take the player to Stamford Bridge, but his desire to train with the club closest to his St Albans home swung negotiations in the Gunners favour.
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Now the north Londoners are safe in the knowledge they have secured a precocious starlet that's been tipped for a very bright future in the game, and he'll continue his development under the watchful eye of Arsenal's youth team coaches with a view to one day making a senior breakthrough at the Emirates Stadium.
Speaking to local newspaper Luton Today, Patino's dad Juliano - who is a season-ticket holder at Kenilworth Road with his boy - paid tribute to his hometown club for allowing Charlie to take the next step in his prospective career as a professional footballer.
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"Opportunities like this don't come too often so you've got to take them and we're absolutely delighted for him," he beamed.
"When clubs like Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Tottenham, come knocking on your door, there's a reason behind it and you can't just say 'no thanks, I'm quite happy where I am.'
"A lot of the coaches at Luton said to us that Charlie's now at a level where he needs to be playing your Man City's, your Chelsea's, on a weekly basis, as opposed to academy three academies.
"There's only so many extra training sessions a week you can give a child before you realise they're at a level where they need to move on.
"Luton Town didn't want to lose Charlie, they absolutely love him there, but they realised for him to develop further he needs to move on."
Some clubs have been criticised in the past for stockpiling the cream of English talent, but at least Arsenal under Wenger have a track record for nurturing and developing young players.
Julio admitted that was also a contributing factor behind his son's eventual decision and now he'll be working hard to take his game to the next level. There's no denying Patino still has a lot of hard work ahead of him, but he's now in the perfect place to realise his full potential.
Arsenal fans: Do you think Charlie Patino has what it takes to make the grade in north London? Or is it too early to be making predictions about the burgeoning young talent? Have your say in the comment box below...
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