Marcelo Flores has only featured fleetingly at U18 level for Arsenal so far but that was sufficient evidence to suggest that the hugely talented midfielder could be an important player this season.
Signed from Ipswich Town as a schoolboy, the Mexico youth international is undoubtedly one of the standout prospects in a very talented intake of new scholars.
Possessing excellent close control and a wide passing range, Flores links play effectively and weighed in with an assist in the FA Youth Cup defeat against Blackburn Rovers last season.
The 16-year-old is capable of playing on either flank but is most effective when deployed in the number ten position. Alternatively, he can be used slightly deeper in midfield, where he can still create chances with regularity.
With Catalin Cirjan poised to step up to the U23s, Flores seems to be the Romanian’s ready-made replacement at U18 level. There are some striking similarities in their playing styles, and it wouldn’t be too bold a prediction to suggest that Flores too could quickly make the step up to the second-string.
Charlie Patino is also set to be an important figure for the U18s, and he can combine effectively with Flores, which could cause numerous problems for opposing defences.
Flores is also capable of helping his side out defensively and is adept at winning the ball back; qualities that would certainly impress Mikel Arteta if he is drafted in for first-team training sessions at some stage.
It is important not to get too carried away, but the signs suggest that Flores could be a key part of the U18s side, and, such is the quality he possesses, he may not stay at that level for very long.