Arsenal welcomed Marcelo Allende to first-team training this week, with the Chilean currently undergoing his second trial with the club.
Allende travelled to North London from South America for a trial back in February of last year, and is back to try and earn himself a permanent move in the near future.
The 17 year-old came through the ranks of Primera B Division side Cobreloa, as did Alexis Sanchez and Eduardo Vargas, and will be keen to continue the success of the academy.
Marcelo came to the attention of Arsenal after captaining his Chile Under-17 side in the World Championships back in 2015, where he helped his side to reach the last 16 of the competition, scoring twice in the process.
The midfielder’s previous temporary spell with us saw him feature in the Durban International Cup, which he helped us to win, and he could well find himself offered the chance to join our club from April, after he turns 18, and is eligible for a contract, although a work permit may prove problematic.
Work permit regulations have been toughened in recent years, and with the 18 year-old far from breaking into the senior Chile international side, we could be forced to send him to one of our feeder clubs until a permit could become possible (Brexit could complicate this further, but we believe the Freedom of Movement Act will remain in place).
Allende has previously been quoted as saying: “I’m a fast thinker and always try to have the play mapped out before I get the ball – then just take a touch.
“I also like splitting the lines with a pass… that gives me as much pleasure as a goal.”
The youngster is most definitely not a world beater as of yet, but our club must see the potential in him, and he could well become a household name in years to come.
Could Allende become a household name? Should clubs focus more on homegrown talent?