Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah may have scored a hat-trick in the Carabao Cup semi-finals, but it was another Gunners prospect who had the home crowd roaring.
Fans chanted Charlie Patino’s name inside the Emirates Stadium when he was introduced as a substitute for his first-team debut, and they sang it even louder after he scored in added time in the 5-1 triumph over Sunderland.
Mikel Arteta, who was born two months before Arsenal’s famed Invincibles season of 2003-04, came in in the 80th minute and turned Nicolas Pepe’s cross into the corner to cap a good night for the 18-year-old.
“A beautiful moment. He is a kid that is coming through our system, a lovely kid. He is training with us almost every week. It was a dream,” said Arteta. “As a debut to come here, to score in front of our fans, a really special moment.”
Patino’s potential was so obvious at a young age that Arsenal offered Luton Town £10,000 to sign him in 2015, when he was just 11 years old. He has consistently played above his age group, scoring a fantastic solo goal for Arsenal’s Under-23 side against Manchester United earlier this season, weaving through the defense before beating goalkeeper Dean Henderson.
The young England Under-19 midfielder scored his first senior goal with his first shot in professional football, and Arsenal fans’ reaction at the Emirates suggests the excitement is growing.
Source: BBC Sport