Arsenal beat Chelsea to sign Charlie Patino

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Football News

Arsenal have won the race to sign 11-year-old wonderkid Charlie Patino from Luton Town, reports The Mail.

The youngster had been approached by Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester City, but has decided to join the club closest to his St Albans home.

Luton will receive £10,000 in compensation from the Gunners but may feel slightly hard done by thanks to Chelsea's offer.

Jose Mourinho's side had offered double what Arsenal had, but Luton were understandably keen to leave the decision to Patino, who is an avid supporter and season-ticket holder at the club.

Manchester City came in to the race late on and held discussions with the youngster's family, but were unable to tempt them towards the Etihad.

Currently a midfielder, but certainly eligible to adapt to any position in the future, Patino will now start his Arsenal career next season.

Recruitment drive

Arsenal's recruitment of Britain's top youngsters has stepped up a gear this season with new academy chief Andrias Jonker charged with reinvigorating their production line.

The Hale End academy was once regarded as one of the finest in the world, but has failed to produce any significant prospects since the emergence of Jack Wilshere.

Only Wilshere and Gibbs stand as homegrown stars that have come through the system, but chief executive Ivan Gazidis wants to make sure the Arsenal academy reaches its former heights.

Chelsea ahead

Chelsea have invested heavily in their youth system and are set to reap the benefits. The likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek Dominic Solanke and Charlie Colkett have all been tipped to break into the first-team in the near future.

Roman Abramovich has invested millions in the Cobham training centre while Tottenham has also been pursuing an intense recruitment drive for several seasons.

Moral dilemma

As The Mail points out in the same article, Patino's move brings into question the morality of the transfer market. 

At 11-years-old, Patino has already been widely reported on as well as forced to make what could turn out to be a life changing decision.

The Gunners are very secretive of their academy products, as they should be, and they will be hoping this is the last news Patino makes until he makes his debut for the first-team.


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