Football

Arsenal wonderkid turns down Germany call up

Zelalem in action vs Barcelona
Zelalem in action vs Barcelona.

If you don't know about Gedion Zelalem then you should probably start reading up, you will be hearing a lot more about the young man in the near future.

The international status of the 17 year old is even more complex than that of another talented youngster, Manchester United's Adnan Januzaj.

Januzaj has his pick of which national team he wants to star for.

The 19 year old winger could represent Belgium with his birth and passport, Turkey due to his grandparents, Albania through heritage and Kosovo if they ever become recognised by FIFA.

The situation is similar for Zelalem in some senses, but the consequences of his choice could be much more severe.

Zelalem was born in Germany to an Ethiopian father. He played in the Hertha Berlin academy set up before moving to America in 2006.

In the States he played for several youth teams and his high school when he was spotted by Arsenal's main USA scout Daniel Karbassiyoon and scheduled to join the Gunners when turned 16. 

Because of all this movement the talented young midfielder is available to represent Ethiopia, Germany and the United States.

And it has emerged today, that after representing the German youth teams on several occasion, Zelalem has turned down the chance to play for their Under 17's, as reported by SoccerOverThere on twitter.

Now if the youngster has decided he doesn't want to play for Germany any more and wants to commit to America then that actually poses problems for his club side Arsenal.

If Zelalem applies for US citizenship then his EU status as a German would also be rescinded. This in turn would possibly end up in him no longer being able to play for Arsenal which as you can guess has the North London team worried.

This is a confusing case that could still go through various loopholes as of yet. But USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann is reportedly doing his absolute best to get Zelalem to enter his set up and repeat the success he got from making Bayern Munich prodigy Julian Green switch from Germany to the United States.

We'll have to wait and see what the young man chooses and see how the pieces fall from there. 

Topics:
MLS
Arsenal
Football

Article Comments

Trending

Read more