Arsenal’s youth academy has gone from staving off relegation from the PL2 under Steve Bould to competing in a title race with new head coach Kevin Betsy. Furthermore, the number of exciting talents performing each week only continues to grow.
Arsenal youngsters Charlie Patino and Salah-Eddine Oulad M’Hand have both been at the forefront of most Gunners supporters’ minds regarding the youth team. Folarin Balogun too, however, the striker is now seen as part of the senior squad.
Yet the continual strong performances of players even below that of the u23-side are beginning to catch the attention of more supporters.
This season has seen the rise of Mexican youth international Marcelo Flores. The attacking midfielder has caught the eye with not only his displays but the acrobatic celebration and passion shown when he scores.
He opened the season with a hattrick against Aston Villa for the under 18s and has scored three more in the subsequent seven matches. Chipping in with two additional assists, no wonder he was called up for the Mexican under 20s side for the Revelations Cup.
Scoring in the 2-1 win over Brazil after a 0-0 draw with Colombia, a win over the USA would claim the tournament crown.
Flores would be the star performer again as Mexico beat their international rivals to top the round-robin system and claim the competition’s top spot.
The Arsenal youth player picked the ball up just outside the box on the right-hand side, dribbled skillfully into the penalty area before striking an effort low and hard into the opposite corner of the goal.
Marcelo Flores’ goal for the Mexico u20s vs the USA, his second goal of the Revelations Cup.
The score is currently 1-1 in the 53rd minute. If Mexico win, they win the competition.pic.twitter.com/OYthSVV3mb
— Dan Critchlow (@afcDW)
He celebrated in the best possible way, as has been seen on many occasions on an Arsenal youth pitch at London Colney, with a somersault in front of the supporters and his teammates.
The ability being shown by Flores is sure to catch the eye of Betsy. Yet, it may be important to continue the 18-year-old’s development at u18 level before promoting him at the end of the season.
Furthermore, Betsy’s current squad contains plenty of attacking talents like Kido-Taylor Hart, Omari Hutchinson and Joel Ideho. Should Flores continue to show his talents he will earn his promotion in no time at all.
It is exciting to see the Arsenal youth continuing to produce quality talent which has seen players such as Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka not only become regulars in the first team but earn senior England call-ups too.
Make sure you have subscribed to The Arsenal Way! The Fan Brands team along with plenty of your football.london favourites will be producing daily Arsenal content for you to enjoy including match reactions, podcasts, football fun and interviews. You can follow Tom Canton from the TAW team to keep up to date with his work.