Choosing United States the Turning Point in Gedion Zelalem’s Arsenal Career


Gedion Zelalem has a lot of hype to live up to. Much like Jack Wilshere, at the ripe age of 18 he is already being deemed the next great thing and he has been crowned the future of United States football. As you can tell from these clips form the Metro, there is plenty to be excited about. 

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Up until he chose the United States, Gedion Zelalem was unheard of. He was a no name with some rumored potential but he was buried in a tangled Arsenal system and unlike Jack Wilshere, he really had no chance of cracking the first team at the age of 18.

When he was still property of the Germans, the same was true. Germany is the World Champions of football and they have a mass of talent waiting to join that elite team. Gedion Zelalem’s team mate Serge Gnabry is one of them. The chances that he would find consistent first-team experience with the Germans was about as slim as it was for Arsenal, even at the U-21 level.

But when Gedion Zelalem chose the United States, he turned the corner. We will look back at this choice as one of the defining moments of his career. Now, instead of wasting away in the shadows of the world champions, Gedion Zelalem is a central figure for the upstart United States U20s. Given how well he is performing and how unstoppable he is looking, there is almost no doubt that he will be on the United States senior squad in no time.

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Zelalem is showing tremendous pace, technical ability and intelligence to weave his way through opposing players. Dare I say, he looked very similar to Alexis Sanchez in his Copa America kick off against Ecuador. This kind of exposure that we did not see before would not have been possible without Zelalem choosing the Yanks.

Now, he is getting playing time and learning what it is like to be one of the primary driving forces on a team, something you can not teach in training. He would have had to wait until he got to Arsenal to learn this, but now that he is already learning it for the USA, when he finally makes it to Arsenal, he will already know what the drill is.

Not only that, but the most obvious benefit is the playing time he is getting. You can not underestimate the value of playing time for a young developing player. It is why guys are sent out on loan. Zelalem is getting a free loan by choosing the United States and he is making the most of it. He is building confidence to the point that he may even be making his impact at Arsenal much sooner than we thought.

Good choice, Mr. Zelalem. We look forward to seeing you.

Next: Ron Vlaar to Arsenal?

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