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Arsenal youth scout Stapleton: Patino best young player I've ever seen

Arsenal youth scout Brian Stapleton admits he rates Charlie Patino as the best player to come through the club's academy.

Stapleton was involved in Patino's signing from Luton Town as an 11 year-old. The midfielder made a goalscoring first team debut this week in the Carabao Cup quarterfinal victory over Sunderland.

Stapleton told Goal: "Of all the years I've been looking at footballers, he's the best boy I've ever seen. I went to see him and I couldn't believe it. He was 11 years old and I think he played in the U13s. I was ... 'wow'. His first touch was amazing, his vision, his awareness of space ... He was way above his age. He was on another planet. I called the head of the academy at Arsenal at the time, Sean O'Connor. He asked me what I thought and I said, 'well, I'm not going back again. I don't need to see more, you have to sign this guy right away'.

"O'Connor discovered Jack Wilshere and told me that Charlie is the best player to ever walk through the gates of Hale End. He has a lot of potential and may follow the same path at Arsenal as (Phil) Foden at City. He has a great conscience of where he is on the field and where the other players are. His vision is so good that he can split a defence with a pass. And when he's on the pitch he's an animal, a winner."


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