Arsenal

Charlie Patino’s transformation, Bellerin returns – 3 things spotted in Arsenal training

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta put his side through their paces at the club's London Colney training base on Wednesday afternoon

Arsenal have had a busy start to their summer transfer window.

The Gunners have wasted no time in the market, bringing in three players in the form of American goalkeeper Matt Turner, young Brazilian winger Marquinhos and Portuguese playmaker Fabio Vieira. Manchester City frontman Gabriel Jesus is also set to be announced as the club’s next signing this week.

Now, some members of the north Londoners’ squad have returned to the club’s London Colney training ground, with the
2022/23 Premier League campaign just over five weeks away. Here, football.london takes a look at three things we spotted as Mikel Arteta welcomed back some of his first-team squad as pre-season preparations begin.

Patino’s bulk

Arsenal youngster Charlie Patino was spotted looking much bulkier than last season, clearly putting in the work to improve on his slight frame in recent times. Gunnerblog of The Athletic has even reported that the teenage sensation has taken steps to improve the physical side of his game, claiming that the talented midfielder is likely to remain in north London until at least January as he looks to challenge for minutes in the cups.

Writing on Twitter, he said: “18-year-old Charlie Patino has taken steps to improve his muscularity and physical readiness ahead of next season. The current plan is for him to remain with Arsenal until at least January, challenging for minutes in the Carabao Cup & Europa League fixtures.”

Loanees return

A number of fringe players also returned to training on Wednesday, with five players who were sent out on loan last term all spotted in the most recent round of pictures. Young striker Folarin Balogun, who was at Championship side Middlesbrough for the second half of the 2021/22 campaign was back at Colney.

Similarly, Hale End academy graduates Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Reiss Nelson were also back in north London after temporary spells with Feyenoord and AS Roma respectively. Spanish defenders Pablo Mari and Hector Bellerin were also put through their paces, with both players’ futures at the club remaining uncertain.

Arsenal’s season was massively derailed when midfielder Thomas Partey suffered a thigh injury during their 3-0 defeat to Crystal Palace. Without the Ghanian in the centre of the park, Arteta’s side looked far from their best, with the former Atletico Madrid man’s presence greatly missed as local rivals Tottenham Hotspur pipped them to fourth place in the Premier League standings.

However, the 29-year-old is back fully fit, training with the rest of his teammates – a sight that will be music to Arsenal fans’ ears.

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