GOAL’s Arsenal correspondent Charles Watts believes that the Gunners would be ‘absolutely mad’ not to reward Charlie Patino with an improved contract amid rumours potential suitors are circling.
The 19-year-old is a product of Hale End and has enjoyed a fine campaign on loan in the Championship.
Now, according to reports from Italian sources, the starlet is attracting interest from La Liga giants Barcelona.
That will certainly come as a worry to those at the Emirates Stadium with the England youth international’s deal expiring this summer.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Watts said: “He’s out of contract at the end of this season, he does have that two-year option which we all know about for them to potentially take up.
“But then there’s that case of, can he really stick on the current contract he’s on for another two years – you have to say no, because he needs to be rewarded for his performances and for the way he’s playing now in the Championship.
“So he [Arteta] can’t just stick a player who is doing what Charlie’s doing and keep him on the same money that he was on when he signed his first professional contract as a 17-year-old kid.
“They’re going to have to reward him and give him fresh terms to keep him.
“There’s all that to discuss, and I’m sure that will happen at some point, because footballing-wise, business-wise, it absolutely has to happen; you can’t let a talent like that just walk away.
“That’s all going to happen at some point pretty soon, I imagine. Arsenal would be absolutely mad if they don’t.
“Charlie’s happy at Arsenal; from what I know, he’s been here an awful long time, he loves the club.
“He wants to have a future at the club, but then, he has to be rewarded, and when there’s lots of other clubs knocking on the door and keeping tabs on the situation, it’s not a foregone conclusion.”
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Patino made his senior debut for the north Londoners last season when he scored in a Carabao Cup quarter-final win over Sunderland a month before starting for the first time in Arsenal colours in the FA Cup.
However, he was sent out on loan this term and it has proved to be quite a fruitful experience for the Watford-born gem.
According to GOAL, he was previously on Barca’s radar and now it seems that the north Londoners will have to pay up in order to hold onto the talent Sean O’Connor – the man responsible for discovering Jack Wilshere – said was ‘the best player who has ever walked through the doors at Hale End’.”