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Progress Report: Can This ‘Next Fabregas’ Cut It At Arsenal?

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Gedion Zelalam

The world of youth football sees many players come and go through the revolving doors at various clubs. Most of the Premier League sides have a large number of young players out on loan trying to find out if they are capable of hitting the big leagues. Harry Kane certainly is one such example of the loan system working out tremendously well, Arsenal have one such potential diamond out on loan at Rangers, Gedion Zelalem, the German-American has been doing exceptionally well since his role in a set of preseason games for Arsenal and then for Rangers but can he make it to the top?

Gedion Zelalam
Gedion Zelalam

Zelalem, a star in the making

Gedion was born in Germany to Ethiopian parents and started his young career in BFC Germania 1888, after his mother’s death in 2005, his father moved to America where Gedion started turning heads with his performances at Olney Rangers. It was here that an Arsenal scout saw him play and he was promptly signed up to represent the Gunners.

He is just 18-years-old and has already been impressive a number of times he has represented Arsenal in the preseason. Zelalem plays in midfield and has been likened to a former gunner, Cesc Fabregas. Just like Fabregas, Zelalem has great vision and game intelligence, which is a surprise since he is still incredibly young and learning his trade.

He also is extremely comfortable with the ball at his feet, even when he is under pressure, he can pick out the right pass or dodge his way past an opponent with relative ease. A cool head on such young shoulders is a rarity and something that should help Zelalem as he continues his growth in football.

Despite his frame, Zelalem doesn’t have the command in the middle of the pitch. The youngster often loses possession and needs to know what to do when his team does not have the ball. He has great composure when the ball is at his feet, but footballers need to do a bit more when the team does not have the ball and this is one major area where Gedion needs work.

Can he cut it at Arsenal?

Everyone would want to return to their parent club and represent the senior team, Gedion at the moment is not ready to take up that role, but Arsenal should keep him on their books. The Gunners might have a lot of midfielders on their books, but a few of them could become surplus to requirements in a couple of seasons, this is where Gedion could shine. Arsenal have lacked a player who could take up the Cesc Fabregas role and having someone like Zelalem would be ideal.

He should be kept out on loan, possibly at another Premier League club when his loan deal at Rangers ends or if he can take Rangers to the Scottish Premiership, he should stay at the Glasgow club. Zelalem has a bright future in football and let’s hope for his sake, he has a great chance of making it into the Arsenal team in the next couple of years.