Pre-season is always something of a strange time as managers have to deal with big squads and look to decide which players to keep in their plans ahead of the new campaign.
At U21 level the situation is often even more chaotic as many players have returned from loan deals, others are looking for moves and younger prospects are stepping up from the U18s.
Marcelo Flores is one such player who had a loan spell last season, although his stint at Real Oviedo didn’t go entirely to plan.
The Mexico international started off well enough in Spain but then lost his place in the side and was an unused substitute for most of the second half of the season.
Flores has now returned to Arsenal and it isn’t entirely clear where he will be playing this campaign, with only one month remaining of the transfer window.
The skilful prospect, who can play out wide or up front, is eager to impress any watching scouts and he produced an encouraging display as the U21s faced Boreham Wood in a pre-season friendly last weekend.
Although not everything he tried came to fruition, Flores was very direct and he especially linked up well with Nathan Butler-Oyedeji, another player who has gained experience of senior football on loan.
The pair combined for Arsenal’s goal in a 2-1 defeat, with Butler-Oyedeji laying the ball off to Flores, who managed to score in impressive style.
What will happen next for Flores remains to be seen, but, even though his spell at Real Oviedo was disappointing, it’s clear that the 19-year-old possesses a lot of quality.
Flores still needs to develop somewhat physically but his technical ability is there for all to see.
Now it is hoped that the upcoming season will be more productive for him than the previous one.