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Marcelo Flores: Arsenal’s own Eden Hazard from Hale End?

Marcelo Flores could be Arsenal’s next big talent to emerge from the famed Hale End academy.

The 18-year-old attacking midfielder, who is yet to make his senior bow for the club, was recently called up to Mexico’s friendly against Chile in America, where he came off the bench to make his international debut in an eight-minute cameo.

This would have surely caught the eye of first-team boss Mikel Arteta, who can always do with extra bodies in the engine room, particularly of an advanced nature.

Born in Georgetown, Ontario in Canada, Flores was also eligible for the North American country, as well as England, but clearly Gerardo Martino was eager to tie him to El Tri as quickly as possible.

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The 5 foot 4 pocket dynamo has been in electric form for the Gunners’ U18s this campaign, delivering six goals and two assists in just nine appearances, via Transfermarkt, so it’s no wonder he’s caught the eye on a much larger stage.

Speaking ahead of Mexico’s clash with their South American rivals, Martino waxed lyrical about Arsenal’s young gem to reporters, as relayed by ESPN.

“Marcelo Flores awakens the hopes that all spectators have,” he said. “He is a different player who always asks for the ball.”

The teenage sensation excelled for the national team’s U20 squad during November’s inaugural 2021 Revelations Cup, where he provided two goals in wins over Brazil and USA, and even earned the accolade of being the ‘Player of the Tournament.’

According to Goal.com, Arteta has invited him to train with the first-team squad several times since taking the helm at the Emirates Stadium. “It was like a dream training with the first team,” Flores revealed about it in December 2020. “I couldn’t believe everything that was happening. I am enjoying all the moments that I am living. I want to become a club legend.”

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Flores was named in the Guardian’s ‘Next Generation 2020’ list of the ’60 best talents in world football’, where journalist Tom Marshall likened him to former foe Eden Hazard, as well as Philippe Coutinho.

It is the former who the 18-year-old prodigy could really draw further comparisons to, especially given his height, playing style and potential ability.

Arteta could well unearth his very own Hazard if he chooses to trust Flores in the first team going forward. He really only has Martin Odegaard as an out-and-out no.10, so there’s certainly scope to hand him his debut, particularly with the hefty fixture list and his impressive performances for both club and country.

AND in other news, Forget Odegaard: Arsenal dud with fewer touches than Ramsdale let Arteta down big time against Everton

Article title: Marcelo Flores: Arsenal’s own Eden Hazard from Hale End?

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