Chilean youngster Marcelo Allende was spotted training with the Arsenal first-team on Wednesday (1 March) with talk of a potential move to north London heating up.
The Gunners' squad were preparing for their game against Liverpool on Saturday (4 March) and Allende was spotted honing his skills alongside the likes of compatriot Alex Sanchez, Granit Xhaka and Alex Iwobi. The Chile U17 international has been on Arsenal's radar since the beginning of 2016 after he impressed while captaining his national team at the U17 World Cup the previous year.
Allende has been at trial with Arsenal in the past and even played for the Gunners in their triumphant Durban International Cup campaign in 2016. The attacking midfielder came through the ranks of Cobreloa, the same club which produced Eduardo Vargas and Sanchez.
The 17-year-old could be a step closer to joining the north London club after training with the senior squad at London Colney, but Arsenal cannot officially sign him until April, when he will turn 18. Allende is currently playing for Deportes Santa Cruz in the Chilean third division, and has played nine times thus far this season.
The Chilean U17 captain said he liked 'splitting the lines' with a pass when asked to describe his playing style. Allende said: "I'm a fast thinker and always try to have the play mapped out before I get the ball – then just take a touch," as quoted by the London Evening Standard.
"I also like splitting the lines with a pass... that gives me as much pleasure as a goal."
'Mavididi returns to Arsenal'
Meanwhile, Arsenal youth prospect Stephy Mavididi, who was on loan at Charlton Athletic, has returned to the club after being ruled out for the rest of the season with a severe hamstring injury. Addicks manager Karl Robinson took responsibility for the injury and confirmed that the striker is facing 14 to 16 weeks on the sidelines.
"He has been in tears which is sickening because he's been tremendous for us and we wish him all the best," Robinson said, as quoted on the London Evening Standard.
"He has been a credit to his family and to Arsenal FC and we'd love to have him back next year."