When Marcelo Flores made his decision to represent Mexico, he also made a move to Spain to play for Real Oviedo in the Second Division in order to gain more minutes and an opportunity to be selected for the 2022 World Cup. His plans obviously did not work out, as he was not selected for the Qatar roster and his time in Spain looks to be coming to a close as well as reports have surfaced regarding a move to Mexico to play for Club Leon.
Marcelo Flores, sin lugar en el Oviedo, puede reforzar al León. https://t.co/TCjf2XBMkv— César Luis Merlo (@CLMerlo) December 6, 2022
The possible move is a bit surprising considering he’s only 19 and it would be his second move in under a year. He joined the Arsenal Academy in 2019 and was called up to the senior team, but was an unused sub. This wasn’t the best situation for the youngster who had dreams to make it to the World Cup, so the move to Spain wasn’t a shock. Some even criticized his move saying he should be patient and remain with Arsenal, seeing as head coach Mikel Arteta had already called him up and it was just a matter of time before he made his senior debut. Now, I’ll be honest, I was one of those that initially criticized him. It just didn’t look like he was going to make it to Qatar, and since that was the reason for his move, it didn’t make sense. While I understand he held onto slim hopes of being part of the 26-player roster, he was impatient and it now appears his decision might come back to haunt him.
During his first few months with Real Oviedo, Marcelo Flores has played 11 games, recording one assist and only logging 454 minutes. He’s also remained on the bench eight games. These stats are not great for a player who moved for the sole purpose of gaining more minutes. However, it isn’t entirely his fault as the team as a whole have had a poor first half of the season. They currently sit in 14th place and were even lower earlier in the season. By week 11, Real Oviedo fired their head coach due to poor results. Their current head coach, Álvaro Cervera, hasn’t been the savior the team had hoped for, but he already has more wins in eight games than previous coach Bolo, so at least there’s some positive to it.
Usually these kinds of words are for older players, not a 19 year-old, but with a lack of minutes, moving to Mexico might be the best move Flores can make. If he does go for Leon, he can play there a few seasons and look to stack up minutes, find his form, and increase his stock. From there, he can look to return to Europe because it’s best for his development, especially if he wants to play an integral part for the Mexican National Team in the future.
Mexico will need to look a lot different in 2026 than it does now and there’s no doubt Marcelo Flores can play a big role in that new cycle. If that means he has to spend time in Mexico before heading back to Europe, so be it. Let’s just hope Leon will be a good fit and he avoids another move in such a short time.