Mexican midfielder, Silvana Flores has revealed she was invited to Arsenal for a trial and offered a contract but turned it down to stay in Essex while her brother did the same with offers from a number of top clubs, including Liverpool.
“After two months of living (in England) I went to a trial with Arsenal, they made me a contract offer, but it was very far away,” Silvana told ESPN.
“I went to Essex to do another test and after five minutes, when I had only done the warm-up, they offered me a contract and my brother [Marcelo] too.
“He had offers from Barcelona, Manchester City, Tottenham, Liverpool, but he likes Ipswich and now we live there,” she added.
The pair, born in Canada but with a Mexican father, represent different nationalities. Silvana, 14, opted for Mexico because she believes their style suits her better while Marcelo represents Canada.
Their father, Ruben, who played for Atalante, also coached the Cayman Islands Women’s team and it was a chance meeting there that saw Marcelo end up at Ipswich. Their mother, Susan, played in Canada.
Ruben told East Anglican Daily Times, how the unlikely transfer of his 13-year-old son came about.
“Steve Foley came across [to the Cayman Islands] on an Ipswich Town exchange programme.
“He was running a camp and asked if Marcelo wanted to join in.
“Marcelo jumped at the chance and stayed on the camp for the rest of the week.”
“He stuck out like a sore thumb, he reminded me of a young Craig Bellamy. I thought ‘Wow, who is this kid?’ said Foley, a youth development coach with Ispwich Town.
“He made a big impression but the only way we were going to know if he was as good as he seemed, no disrespect to football in the Cayman Islands and Canada – they’re OK but I thought Marcelo was better – was for him to come and train with the Ipswich academy.
“He is quick, naturally fit and hungry for the ball, he doesn’t have to be told to go and get it back.
“He’s come here with great expectations and has fallen short on one or two occasions and people have questioned him and found fault.
“But that’s good for his make-up, he has overcome obstacles already.”
Marcelo, meanwhile, has his eyes on a Premier League prize, modelling himself on Lionel Messi and Eden Hazard.
“One of my ambitions is to play professionally in the Premier League, but I would also like to play world-wide, in La Liga,” he added.