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Marcelo Flores: Mexican media reacts to Arsenal gem's El Tri display v Guatemala

Arsenal prodigy Marcelo Flores was in friendly action for Mexico on Wednesday night.

The Gunners academy attacker got 29 minutes under his belt for El Tri in their 0-0 draw with Guatemala.

Flores is one of the most talented youngsters coming through the Arsenal setup.

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The 18-year-old is also considered one of Mexican football’s brightest young players.

Indeed, Flores had already made his El Tri debut prior to the friendly at Florida’s Camping World Stadium.

The Arsenal gem first wore Mexico’s jersey at senior level in a friendly against Chile last December.

On Wednesday, Flores made his second appearance for El Tri.

It wasn’t a particularly exciting encounter as Tata Martino’s charges played out a stalemate with Guatemala.

El Tri had plenty of the ball but failed to break their opponents down.

“Immense amount of potential”

ESPN and Marca Claro both covered Mexico’s game and reacted to Flores’ display.

The former wrote: “Once again, it’s not ideal to judge a player solely off one performance.

“In the case of Marcelo Flores, an 18-year-old Arsenal academy product, there’s also the caveat of the young Mexican-Canadian only having 29 minutes on Wednesday.

“That said, it was fair to expect more of Flores after his latest comments about his national team future.

“Although he didn’t play poorly, there was almost a surprising amount of caution from the player.

“Flores’ response on the pitch was fairly average at best.

“In desperate need of a risk-taker or game-changer, Mexico were instead given a timid performance from Flores and not near anything that a World Cup-bound player would deliver.

“The teenager has an immense amount of potential and will likely make his Premier League debut soon.

“But at the time being, he still has much more to prove on the international level before earning a place for Qatar.”

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Meanwhile, Marca Claro wrote (translated from Spanish): “Although the Arsenal gem came on as a substitute for the final stretch of the match, on the occasions that he had the ball he sought to get rid of it with delayed passes.

“He was never seen as unbalancing to be able to put the rival’s defense in predicament.”

Flores needs time to grow for both Arsenal and Mexico

That Flores is already playing for Mexico at senior level shows just how much talent he is.

But at just 18, and with no senior game time under his belt, maybe this World Cup will be too soon for him.

That’s not a bad thing by any means. He’s a very young player with amazing talent, but he shouldn’t be thrown in at the deep end.

Every so often, you get players who hit the ground running and are already starring for club and country.

It’s amazing when that happens, but it’s very rare – the vast majority of players need a little more time to develop.

A few minutes for Arsenal’s seniors this term, pre-season with the first-team, and then a loan next season could do the trick.

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