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Charlie Patino, Hale End's next gem?
He is earning positive reviews on loan, is he ready for the step up?
Charlie Patino is one of the brightest prospects to come out the hale end in the last few years (outside of the ones that are currently helping propel Arsenal to second in the table).
He is currently spending his second season playing in the Championship. Last year he had a good year for his development stint playing significant minutes at Blackpool; they ended up getting relegated to League 1 and his stats were not the best but for a 19-year-old looking like you should belong at a level like the Championship is an important signal.
This year it will be important for him to not just play minutes but to impress and make an impact with his chances.
His early stats suggest he can do that but more is still needed. In 12 matches (8.9 90s) this season he has 1 goal and 4 assists and has gotten very positive reviews from Swansea head coach Michael Duff.
Duff said this to Art de Roché of the Atheltic about Patino:
There are not many people his age playing every week in the Championship. The fact is, he’s keeping Jay Fulton out of the team, who’s a seasoned Championship operator. Charlie’s got numbers to his game… and it’s no easy feat.
The numbers do look pretty good, showing very good creative numbers with the others still looking solid for a player of his age.
There is room for growth in his game and that might be something that should temper expectations for him but this is still a solid stat profile for a player of his age and level.
Looking at where he has played, it looks like he has a relatively free role, and has played both left and right, but favoring receiving on the left-hand side of midfield.
Positionally, Swansea have played a bit of everything switching from a back 3/5 to start the season before moving into a more 4-2-3-1 shape, with Patino moving around the different combinations of midfields.
One of the complications that always pops up with these is understanding how the team effects can change statistics. Swansea City is a team that is currently sitting lower table in the Championship, they are in 17th place, with the 10th best goal difference (+1), and the 19th best expected goal difference (-5.4). Their style looks pretty close to what you would expect from a below-average team.
They have generally average possession, passes per possession, and play a pretty regular style that isn’t overly direct. Where it does look like they are struggling is advancing the ball into the final third, they are struggling to keep the ball away from their own half, and squeezing the toothpaste up the tube.
This perhaps reflects poorly on Patino given he is a player in the middle of the park but it does look like there isn’t a standout player in this team with a massive dependency on a single player.
All that being said, I am pretty happy that Swansea isn’t an extreme team because that will make this a bit easier to feel confident about what we are seeing.
Let’s get into it.
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Passing and Creating
Patino’s passing shows up as good but perhaps not quite elite.
He has a good volume of passes in a Swansea team that wants to try and have the ball, but his ability to create value (especially from open play) and progress the ball is lacking a bit and has room for growth.
When he gets on the ball in dangerous positions he does have the ability to pick out a pass. His passing into the box is above average, with good expected assist values to back that up and to top that off he has shown good set-play delivery.
Set play delivery is good but it is also boosting his chance creation numbers. Being a good set-play player is not a bad thing, it suggests that he has good (and trusted) delivery but it is perhaps giving his chance creation numbers (1.8 per 90, split evenly between open play and set play) some extra oomph right now.
Overall the passing and creative part of his game looks the most developed. There is room for growth here but it appears to be closest to the required level.
Receiving and Carrying
Patino’s ability to move with the ball looks solid.
He does look to move the ball often when he receives, racking up good total progressive distance and carries. He also rates very highly with his tendency to attempt dribbles and does complete them at a high rate.
Interestingly he does not rate highly getting value from his carries. His dribbling and carrying are positive but are outweighed by the times he does lose the ball.
This is driven by him losing the ball more often than expected given the areas of the pitch that he is operating in. He is losing the ball more like an attacking midfielder but playing in central midfielder locations.
It is positive that he trusts himself in these situations to try and beat his man, but he might need to perhaps needs to pick his spots better.
His receiving numbers look solid, especially considering that he has started a bit more reserved for a team that struggles to get the ball into the final third and the box.
On the ball winning side of the game for Patino, the raw numbers are down a bit from last season, but still enough where it doesn’t look like a liability.
Tackles attempted down from 3.6 to 1.7 per 90, 2.9 to 1.8 adjusted for possession.
Successful Tackles down from 2.4 to 1.2 per 90, 1.9 to 1.3 adjusted for possession.
Dribbled past rate down (lower is better) from 55.2% to 38.5%.
Interceptions and blocked passes down from 3.3 to 2.2 per 90, 2.6 to 2.3 adjusted for possession.
Over I think the defensive numbers for Patino look totally fine, maybe a touch on the low side, but still not of a major concern. He has added some muscle to his frame and looks stronger when he goes into challenges but you wouldn’t mistake him at this point for a midfield destroyer.
From the looks of things Patino is not at this stage of his game is not a player that we should expect a ton of shots. For his career he averages a shot every other match. The shots that he does take are pretty typical of a midfielder, mostly low quality and mostly from distance.
He did score a goal this season from his one good chance but overall this doesn’t look like a major factor in what he brings to the table yet.
He has made strides this season from his loan last year but he still looks at best right now like an average Premier League player. Here are what his stats look like adjusting to the Premier League level adjusting for the level of teams played based on the Club ELO ratings.
This is still a step up on where he was last year where his statistics showed him as a below average Premier League player. Last year the name of the game was getting him valuable minutes and experience and it was successful.
There is still a lot of room for him to go up and if he is going to make it at Arsenal that is the next step for him. A rating is nice but it isn’t the be all end all. For fun I did pull where he ranks among midfielders in the Championship and he comes out looking just decent.
On the box to box midfielder rating he is 19th, and 5th among under 23 players.
For the deep playmaker template it is much the same, he ranks 21st and 4th among players under 23.
The Championship is a tough league and he is doing okay right now. He has an excellent profile for a player and is still young. There is still a lot of season to go and players of his age can take pretty big leaps but looking at his profile, I can help but still think that he is at least one more loan spell away from realistically being able to impact at the level of Arsenal.