Back in September, Spanish outlet El Desmarque reported that Arsenal will have no problem recalling Marcelo Flores to find him a new loan destination if Real Oviedo can’t guarantee minutes for the youngster.
The outlet suggested that if Flores’ situation didn’t change in the following few weeks, the player could consider making that change. They wrote that the player’s patience “has a limit, and it could soon end”.
Two months on, not much has changed. Flores did make two starts in November, playing 57 minutes of a league game and 86 in a cup match, but he remains on the fringes of the Oviedo side.
The Arsenal youngster has played 470 minutes in total across 11 appearances, making just five starts for the Spanish second-division side in their 19 matches in all competitions.
In the four matches that Flores didn’t start last month, he didn’t come off the bench once.
It’s not all bad news for the 19-year-old. This is his first loan, and his experience with trying to fight his way into the team and making the best of limited minutes in a competitive environment will be beneficial to him.
Almost all professionals face these moments in their careers, so it’s no bad thing to learn how to deal with them early on. But ultimately you improve the most by getting out there on the pitch.
Assuming there was any truth to the reports of a potential Arsenal recall back in September, it’s hard to see what would have changed their minds since then.
Flores is playing as sporadically as he has been all season, and there must be other clubs out there willing to give him a more consistent opportunity.
We’ll see what the Gunners decide to do when the January window opens. Oviedo have four more fixtures before then, starting with a game against Las Palmas next Tuesday.