Marcelo Flores, once a rising star in Arsenal’s youth system, is now hoping to shine in the Mexican First Division with Tigres UANL after making his debut.
Born in Canada of Mexican descent, Flores, at the tender age of 19, made his debut in the Apertura 2022 season on Sunday.
Flores’ early footballing roots can be traced back to the Arsenal youth setup, where he honed his skills and rose through the ranks.
In 2019, he joined the Arsenal academy, and during the 2020-21 campaign, he stood out as a promising talent with the youth team. His impressive performances led to the signing of his first professional contract.
While donning the Arsenal colours from the U-18 to U-23 levels, Marcelo Flores played in 41 games and netted 14 goals. He was named as part of the senior team’s matchday squad for a clash against Crystal Palace on April 4, 2022, although he remained on the bench throughout the 90 minutes.
Recognising his potential and eager to provide him with valuable playing time, Real Oviedo secured Marcelo Flores on a loan deal without an option to purchase at the end of the 2021-22 season. Despite representing a second-tier Spanish club, the young midfielder made a noteworthy impact in the first half of the season, accumulating a total of 572 minutes across thirteen games, seven of which he started.
Upon completing his loan spell, Marcelo Flores returned to the Arsenal setup, where he briefly featured for the U-21 team. Arsenal’s manager, Mikel Arteta, commended the young player’s performance, emphasising his immense potential and the need to strategically plan his career trajectory.
“We have great regard for Marcelo Flores, and we are well aware of his potential. Now, we must carefully design his career path and determine the best club for his growth, and we are actively working on that,” stated Arteta during a press conference on July 29.
Despite these plans, on September 10, Arsenal made the announcement of Marcelo Flores’ permanent exit.
Now, Marcelo Flores finds himself in Mexico, representing Tigres UANL in the First Division.
His debut during Matchday 8 of the Apertura 2022 season marked a significant step in his career, even though it came in the midst of a challenging match against Atlas, with Tigres trailing 2-0.
Flores entered the field in the 72nd minute, replacing Luis Quiñones, and his presence injected fresh energy into Tigres’ quest for a comeback. However, as tensions flared on the pitch, Marcelo Flores received his first yellow card in extra time after an altercation with José Abella.
Tigres were unable to claw the score back and lost 2-0, although they sit in fourth place, still two points ahead the side that beat them on Sunday.