Gedion Zelalem is Arsenal's latest teenage prodigy
Teenage midfielder Gedion Zelalem is impressing on Arsenal's pre-season tour
Gedion Zelalem is quite an interesting young talent - and he's become a fan favorite in just three games.
On Arsenal’s 2013 Asia Tour he has featured against Indonesia XI, Vietnam XI, Japanese club Nagoya Grampus and is sure to feature on July 26th when the Gunners take on J-League giants Urawa Reds - a good side who finished in fourth place last season.
Zelalem’s exquisite vision, technique and passing prowess stole the show while he was on the pitch as he set up several opportunities, eventually leading to an assist which Theo Walcott slotted home.
Jack Wilshere commented on Zelalem after the match against Nagoya Grampus:
"He sees passes that not a lot of players can. You think: 'What's he doing?' and suddenly someone is in. He's only 16 and he's an exciting player. It won't be long before he's ready.
"He's so comfortable on the ball. Even in training he's a nightmare to play against. He keeps the ball away from you and shields it. He's not very big but he's strong.
"He drifts in and out of players. He's quite a strong lad and technically he's right up there. He can use his left and right and sees so many passes. He's a good one for the future."
If Zelalem can continue the red-hot form he is in on this tour, it would be no surprise to see him make a few senior appearances this season.
Arsenal need to do everything they can to hang on to him as he will surely be attracting attention from every top club in the years to come.
The deep-lying midfielder was discovered playing for Maryland club Olney Rangers and then impressed Arsenal scouts at the Dallas Cup in Texas, earning himself a trial leading to an acceptance into Arsenal’s prestigious youth academy.
Although a German citizen, Zelalem is a permanent US resident and in the process of obtaining a US passport and evidently will be eligible to become a US citizen, due to family ties, when he turns 18.
It will be quite interesting to find out which nation he decides to play for - there's sure to be a fight for his services.
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