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U23s: Talented Midfield Prospect Heads to Spain on Loan

One for the future heads to LaLiga 2.

Arsenal U23 v West Ham United U23 - Premier League 2 Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

While Arsenal are in the midst of their American preseason tour, work back in London continues as the academy looks to prepare the next line of Premier League-caliber Gunners. After a marquee season both at the U23 level and deciding his national team future, attacking midfielder Marcelo Flores will join Real Oviedo in LaLiga 2 on loan next season. Seen as one of Hale End’s brightest stars at the moment, this looks like a terrific move to a club aiming for promotion to La Liga.

Flores joined the Arsenal Academy at age 15 from Ipswich Town’s development system. A year later he was with the U18s and made the jump into the U23 side this past season. Despite still just 18 and having yet to play senior-level football, both Mexico and Canada were attempting to sway Flores to their national team setup.

For the 2021/22 season, Marcelo had 11 goals and three assists from 22 matches across the U18 and U23s. After deciding to align with the Mexican National Team, he received his first cap in December 2021 with two subsequent appearances. 18, excelling at the youth level, into his national team’s squad, and full of potential. This loan move is a tremendous opportunity to develop and show Arsenal what he could offer the first team in the years to come.

Real Oviedo plays in the Segunda Division, also known as LaLiga 2, as part of a 22-team league. Last season they finished 7th, despite losing just eight times, tied for best in the division. Oviedo finished on 68 points, tied with 6th position for the final spot in the promotion play-offs. But even with the better goal differential, Girona won the tiebreaker based on head-to-head points.

We will keep an eye on Flores and how he develops in Spain next season and as he pursues a final spot on Mexico’s World Cup squad.