News broke this week about Arsenal handing another trial to a highly-rated teenager, Marcelo Allende.

The Chilean 17-year-old, who has previously drawn comparisons to Alexis Sánchez, was pictured in a training session with the first-team at London Colney earlier this week.

allende afc
Allende (circled in red) during a first-team training session this past week. (Picture source: Arsenal)

His ability as a youngster was spotted by scouts from Cobreola, one of the country’s best footballing sides. Having produced Charles Aranguiz, Eduardo Vargas and our own Alexis, it’s no surprise Allende has been tagged the ‘new Alexis’.

This is not the first time Allende has trialled with Arsenal. Back in October it was reported that the club still wanted him despite him having a poor trial.

He had ‘accepted without hesitation’ an offer to come to Arsenal in July following on from another made to him in March, 2016.

High praise for talented teen

Having already flourished at youth level on the international stage, he has all the components of a future world-class player.

Cobreola suffered financial problems and needed to sell, meaning Deportes Santa Cruz managed to recruit him into their side. League rules meant that every team had to field at least one player who was born in 1997 or later for at least 45 minutes every weekend. Allende quickly became Santa Cruz’s midfield metronome, despite his youthful exuberance and inexperience at senior level.

These quotes from Jose Gandarillas, current chairman at Valdivia, highlight just how talented the youngster is. “They [Santa Cruz] started using Marcelo in the last part of the season when they bought him from Cobreloa. Even though he was the youngest player of the league by far, he made a big difference playing as a false nine or a classic playmaker.

“He has a very smart reading of the game and is great at connecting with team-mates,” he continued.

Allende turns 18 next month and will then be free to sign a professional contract. If a deal is finalised, which looks increasingly likely, it is highly probable he will feature in the youth set-up. This would be similar to how Cohen Bramall has been handled since his January arrival. [cont below]

It’s naive to suggest he’d feature in the first-team in the next season or two, especially given our squad depth levels. His representative hinted that Allende is a highly sought-after player, so a quick response is important here.