Jack Wilshere has delivered his verdict on Arsenal wonderkid Charlie Patino, with many having drawn comparisons between the playing styles of the duo.
Wilshere is currently training with the Gunners having been invited in by boss Mikel Arteta after leaving Championship side Bournemouth following their defeat in last season’s play-offs.
The midfielder has been taking part in training sessions at the club’s London Colney facility, while also undertaking his coaching badges with the club where he broke into senior football.
As part of those sessions, Wilshere has trained alongside Patino, who has quickly become the rising star of the Gunners’ academy prospects.
The 17-year-old has featured in every game of Arsenal’s Premier League 2 campaign so far, starting all seven matches.
Playing in a deeper role than in previous seasons, Patino scored in a 3-1 win over Manchester United ’s youngsters before providing an assist in a hammering of Chelsea a week later.
In a showcase of his rising reputation, Patino was also named as captain for their trip to Swindon Town in the Papa John’s Trophy.
There have been calls for him to be given a chance in the first-team by Arteta, especially now that Granit Xhaka has been ruled out for a significant period of time with injury.
Patino had looked set to make his first-team debut in the Carabao Cup clash with AFC Wimbledon, though Arteta ultimately opted to name a stronger line-up than planned.
While he has not yet played a competitive fixture for the club’s first-team, Patino has been a regular face in their senior training sessions.
That has seen him cross paths with Wilshere, who was himself once the star of Arsenal’s academy.
And the 29-year-old has now delivered his verdict on the youngster, who appears set to follow in his footsteps.
“I know him. I’ve seen him play and he’s a good player,” Wilshere told PA Media when asked about Patino.
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“He’s obviously really young still and got a lot of developing to do but he’s definitely one who everyone at the training ground is talking about.
“The first-team players know who he is and he is a good player and one for the future for sure.”
Many have drawn comparisons between the pair of midfielders, with the duo both left-footed and Patino taking after Wilshere’s ability to glide up the pitch.
Though he admitted they were similar in some ways, Wilshere has moved to play down those comparisons.
“Yes, there are some similarities,” he said.
“There are quite a few, but he is a different player as well and I think it is important people see him for who he is rather than say: ‘oh he is the next Jack Wilshere’.
“He has certainly got some qualities I didn’t have and there are things he needs to work on but he is going to make a name for himself in the future.”
Patino has returned to Arsenal training this week, having been called-up by the England Under-19 squad over the international break.