Mazeed Ogungbo and Marcelo Flores are in the travelling Arsenal squad to face Crystal Palace on Monday night, their first Premier League call-ups.
Charles Watts reports that Mazeed Ogungbo and Marcelo Flores will both join the first-team squad to face Crystal Palace on Monday.
Neither of them have been involved in a competitive senior Arsenal squad before, so this will be their first experience with Mikel Arteta’s side on a matchday.
Marcelo Flores’ father Ruben has also confirmed Marcelo’s call-up, writing on Twitter that he’s “so proud and excited” and adding “good luck son, you’ve been preparing all your life for moments like this”.
Ogungbo is a defender who can play centre-back, left-back, or left-wing-back, though he’s probably been most comfortable at left-centre-back in a three this season.
Making 25 appearances for the u23s/u21s, he’s been the Arsenal academy’s busiest player, and performed consistently throughout the season.
As for Flores, many fans will already have heard of him from his recent call-up to the senior Mexican national team. Capable of playing at attacking midfield or on the wings (usually the left), Flores has 19 goals or assists for the academy this season.
There’s already talk that Flores could get a chance to impress with the first-team in pre-season, but before that, it looks like he’ll join the team against Palace.
It’s unlikely either Ogungbo or Flores will feature on the pitch on their first call-up, but you never know what might happen.
Arsenal have regularly given call-ups to youth players in the past few months, given the current slimmed-down size of the senior squad. Arteta technically has enough players to fill a 20-player squad, but only if every single one of his senior players is fit and available.
The obvious implication from the call-ups for Flores and Ogungbo is that a couple of senior players will be absent on Monday night.
The good news is that Connor Humm reports both Bukayo Saka and Kieran Tierney are with the squad, so it’s not either of them.
My guess would be that Takehiro Tomiyasu will continue to be absent as he works on his recovery from a calf injury, but we’ll have to wait and see who else is missing.