Arsenal academy youngster Marcelo Flores made his debut for the Mexican National Team last night, playing in a friendly against Chile.
Arsenal released Marcelo Flores from u18 duty this week to join up with the senior Mexican National Team, as they prepared to play a friendly match against Chile.
Flores didn’t make the starting lineup for the game, but he got a debut opportunity for the final minutes, coming on as an 83rd-minute substitute in the 2-2 draw. A huge moment for him and his family, without a doubt.
After the game, head coach Gerardo Martino explained why the Arsenal youngster didn’t get even longer on the pitch.
“Marcelo entered the moment we thought it was necessary,” Martino said. “I understand the expectations, but we need to be cautious with a boy who is barely 18 years old.”
It’s rather amusing that after an 18-year-old has been given his first minutes for his senior national team, the conversation is around why he didn’t get to play more! But Flores looks an exciting prospect, and the fans are recognising that.
ESPN had reported before the game that Flores would get a chance to feature in the Chile friendly, but not the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
Martino wants to get a look at Flores, and sources insist he’s called the youngster up on merit, not to try and tempt the player away from Canada.
Flores flew out last Wednesday, spending the week training with Mexico.
Back home, the Arsenal u21s beat Ipswich Town in the EFL Trophy on Wednesday, before the u18s lost to league-leaders Chelsea on Saturday.
The u18s kick off their FA Youth Cup campaign against Colchester United next Friday, and they’ll have to do that without Flores too.
Flores has the choice of representing Mexico or Canada (or England) at senior level, but he’s already started to make a name for himself in Mexico.
The Mexico u20s won the Revelations Cup over the last international break thanks largely to a Player of the Tournament performance from Flores.