Arsenal are reportedly set to give Chilean midfielder Marcelo Allende his third trial spell with the club, having previously played in the academy last year.
Reports suggesting the highly-rated teenager would be joining Arsenal on a trial period started in February 2016, something that the player’s representative Christian Ogalde helped finalise to begin with.
“I have a relationship with many European clubs including Arsenal and, another club, so if tomorrow there are options, we’ll talk,” Ogalde revealed back at the time.
“Arsenal is a great training club and we would be interested in working with them if they give us the possibility to,” he continued.
The midfielder isn’t rated highly for nothing.
Having captained Chile’s u17 side in the most recent World Cup, he stood out to many as one of the tournament’s most technically gifted players and despite a quarter-final defeat to Mexico, earned a move after the tournament from boyhood club Cobreloa to Deportes Santa Cruz.
Many have compared him to our very own Alexis Sánchez, but there aren’t many similarities. Apart from being comfortable with the ball at his feet and showing good composure in-front of goal when the chances are created, there are plenty of differences between the two.
As he told FIFA’s official website on the eve of 2015 World Cup, “I’m a fast thinker and always try to have the play mapped out before I get the ball – then just take a touch. I also like splitting the lines with a pass… that gives me as much pleasure as a goal,” citing compatriot Jorge Valdivia and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi as his main admirers.
There will ultimately be questions as to whether he can develop into more of an imposing physical specimen as he continues to grow, but players like Santi Cazorla have shown in recent seasons that you can be a diminutive playmaker, which ultimately has its advantages too.
Why three trials though?
It is amongst FIFA’s rules and regulations which state clubs cannot complete international transfers of players who are under the age of 18 before they sign. Allende will turn 18-years-old during the first full week in April, meaning he then has the chance to sign a professional contract in another country.
The fact that Arsenal have kept him on their radar and offered him another trial on different occasions now though, is definitely a promising sign on how things could develop in the coming months.