Ferdinand praises Arsenal starlet's decision to leave and says another to follow

Rio Ferdinand has praised Charlie Patino’s decision to leave Arsenal in search of greater first-team football opportunities, believing Folarin Balogun may be plotting the same move this summer.

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19-year-old Patino, regarded as one of the best youngsters at the club, has made 33 appearances on loan in the Championship with Blackpool this season but is now set to leave Arsenal this summer.

With the Gunners returning to the Champions League next season, the midfielder is unlikely to feature in Mikel Arteta’s plans next term. Patino is not keen on another loan move and is now set to push for a permanent move away from north London.

Arsenal could face a similar dilemma with striker Balogun. The 21-year-old is enjoying a superb season on loan with Reims in Ligue 1 where he has scored 18 times in 32 appearances but with Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah vying for the centre forward role back at Arsenal, a number of clubs across Europe have shown interest in his services.

Former Manchester United defender Ferdinand believes the ‘technically ridiculous’ Patino has made a brave decision over his future and expects Balogun may follow suit.

‘I think he’s a serious player, Ferdinand said of Patino on his YouTube channel FIVE. ‘He’s been on loan at Blackpool this season, played 25-30 games and shown another side to his game; in terms of the tactical side, being more combative, making more challenges. He has been showing another side of his game.

‘With the ball, there’s been no doubts whether he’s technically ridiculous.’

Ferdinand continued: ‘[Arsenal’s other loan deals] have worked out, with who are the right ones to keep.

‘Obviously, Arsenal wanted to trigger a clause that they could keep him and sign another extension until 2025. I think it’s testament to the kid.

‘For young kids, it’s a big point in their career. Sometimes, when a club offers you a deal, it’s not always the best-case scenario to stay and wait and wait and wait.

‘I think, sometimes especially when you go out on loan, you get that taste of playing men’s football in front of fans and in stadiums, and to think you’re going to back and play [Under-]23s football, sometimes, it’s like, ‘I can’t go back to that’. You’ve got to be brave.’

Ferdinand continued: ‘Balogun has a big decision to make too, does he go back and potentially sit on the bench and wait for his chance at Arsenal or does he go, “I want to play now, I’ve proved my worth”.

‘Both of these boys have got big decisions, I think Charlie Patino has made up his mind and wanted to go elsewhere. It is important for Arsenal with what they do. I think they will go for a bit more experience in that midfield area.’

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