Real Oviedo confirmed on Wednesday that Marcelo Flores has signed a season-long loan deal with the club. The player is set to join up with the Spanish second-division side for training in the coming days, when he’ll also be officially presented to the public.
The Athletic report that there won’t be an option to buy in Flores’ contract, and he chose Real Oviedo amid other interest from England, mainland Europe, the U.S., and Mexico.
The 18-year-old reportedly prioritised game time in making his decision, with the bonus that a move to Real Oviedo could help him to secure an EU passport within the next 24 months.
Given Flores hasn’t yet arrived in Spain, there were no quotes attached to his signing announcement, but the player took to social media to say:
“Just want to thank you for all the amazing support you’ve been sending my way recently. Ready for the new challenge with Real Oviedo, and can’t wait to share this journey with you. Un abrazo (a hug).”
ESPN had reported earlier this week that Flores was close to a loan move to Real Oviedo. They drew the comparison to Carlos Vela, who made his first appearances in senior football playing for second-division Spanish side Salamanca on loan from Arsenal.
Real Oviedo’s new club president Martin Pelaez admitted that any team would want to add Flores to their ranks.
“Any club, not (just) from Mexico, from the world, would like him,” Pelaez said.
“He can give any team his talent, he is very young but very talented. You can see that he is a winner and should add talent and fight.”
Flores was one of Arsenal’s top academy goalscorers and assisters last season, with 14 goals and six assists putting him in the top five in both categories (joint-3rd and joint-4th respectively).
The Mexico international’s goal contribution total of 20 was only bettered by strikers Khayon Edwards and Mika Biereth. Getting anywhere near that tally in his first senior campaign would make it a terrific season.