The Gunners jetted to Baltimore on Thursday to continue their preparations for the upcoming Premier League campaign, with matches against Everton, Orlando City and Chelsea all on the agenda.
But the squad Mikel Arteta selected to bring to the USA raised a few eyebrows, with several notable omissions despite the presence of wantaway midfielder Lucas Torreira and five goalkeepers.
Aaron Ramsdale, Matt Turner, Arthur Okonkwo, Alex Runarsson and Bernd Leno – who is expected to leave the club this summer – all made the cut, while a number of young players were left out.
Much-hyped academy starlet Charlie Patino, who was often involved with the first team last season, was surprisingly not selected, as was the case for Flores and fellow wonderkid Omari Hutchinson.
Now La Opinion claim Flores’ exclusion from the pre-season tour has not gone down well – particularly as he believed he would be part of the squad.
The 18-year-old was invited to be part of Mexico’s squad for their Under-20 World Cup qualification matches, but Arsenal blocked his participation and cited his involvement on the trip to the USA as the reason.
Flores, who has given a string of electric performances for both club and country at youth level, would have been expected to play in the Concacaf Under-20 quarter-final against Guatemala – a match Mexico shockingly lost on penalties.
The final of the competition – which saw USA hammer the Dominican Republic – was played on July 4, meaning Flores would still have been on holiday when the club jetted off to the USA.
But instead he neither represented his country in the Under-20 tournament nor was he selected for the pre-season tour, creating a degree of confusion.
Flores, like Patino, has remained in the UK and the decision from Arteta has prompted some questions over the development pathway at Arsenal.
The Mexican has only been called up to the first-team matchday squad once, where he was an unused substitute in a defeat to Crystal Palace in April, while Patino only made one appearance in each of the FA Cup and Carabao Cup despite Arsenal having a number of injury issues in midfield.
Arsenal also appear to be on the verge of losing Hutchinson – another player left out of the tour squad – with London rivals Chelsea poised to poach the highly rated teenager.
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