Arsenal‘s academy system is one of the best in England right now, with Bukayo Saka the current shining example of what the Gunners can produce.
Meanwhile, over the years the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Ashley Cole and Serge Gnabry have gone onto have successful careers in north London and beyond.
One player widely thought to be next in line is midfield gem Charlie Patino, who has impressed during a loan spell at Championship outfit Blackpool.
Who could replace Martin Odegaard at Arsenal?
The 19-year-old dynamo has cemented his place at the Tangerines this campaign, registering a total of four goal contributions across 22 league appearances, via Transfermarkt.
Who is the bigger Hale End prospect?
Blackpool recently changed managers, yet still, the Gunners youngster remains highly thought of, with new boss Mick McCarthy hailing him after one game in charge.
“He has a right go at it, Charlie,” he said. “The willingness to do it is great. I’ve loved working with him for the last few days, he’s going to be a very good player.”
Patino has been moulded into an all-round type of midfielder by last season’s U23 boss Kevin Betsy, so eventually, he could one day usurp Mikel Arteta‘s current no.8 in Martin Odegaard.
However, he won’t be the only one vying for that attacking midfield role, with Catalin Cirjan containing to make an impression despite numerous injury setbacks.
Who is Catalin Cirjan?
The 20-year-old, who hails from Domnetsi in Romania, scored against Reading U21s earlier this month in what was a fine attacking display, where he often arrived late in the box to provide the young Gunners with another option.
There is no doubt that Cirjan has plenty of admirers at London Colney, having signed a new deal with the club during the summer. Back in August, football.london revealed that he is highly regarded amongst his age group.
His time on the treatment table (around 480 days) actually allowed Patino to make his breakthrough at Hale End, with both players very similar in nature and come to next season when the latter is back from his loan, they will both be vying for that starting spot in the U23s – if not battling for a place in Arteta’s first-team.
Cirjan was a real standout at U18 level, managing three goals and three assists from 25 appearances and such form has led to high praise from those that have watched him in action.
Morning Star journalist Layth Yousif has described him as a “creative talent,” whilst Romanian football expert Emanuel Rosu once billed the 20-year-old as a “wizard.”
Over the last few years, Cirjan has had plenty of time to train with the senior squad, which will only bolster his credentials in becoming the next Saka or Emile Smith Rowe.
Now he’s back playing regularly, he will surely rival Patino in a bid to become the true heir to Odegaard’s throne in north London.
AND in other news, Edu had big Arsenal transfer blunder over £62m “magician”, just imagine him with Jesus…