Zelalem: Why Arsenal's German Youngster Will Be The Next Fabregas

He was hyped up a lot before his debut, but Gedion Zelalem impressed for Arsenal's under-21s against Liverpool. Here's the low-down on the German, including a quote from the man who coached him...
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He was hyped up a lot before his debut, but Gedion Zelalem impressed for Arsenal's under-21s against Liverpool. Here's the low-down on the German, including a quote from the man who coached him...

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Gedion Zelalem had been compared to Cesc Fabregas in some quarters in the build-up to his debut for the U21s against Liverpool at Anfield, and, even if such comparisons may be a little exaggerative at this stage, the 16 year old certainly made a positive first impression in an Arsenal shirt.

A diligent passer of the ball, Germany U16 youth international Zelalem possesses excellent vision and close control, and has a penchant for caressing the ball with the outside of his boot. Capable of creating space for himself in the most difficult situations, Zelalem was heavily involved early on in the 3-2 defeat as he linked well with his team-mates before having a shot on goal himself in the second half.

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He tired in the second-half and played a few stray passes, whilst we were unable to witness much of his defensive capabilities as he spent much of the game in the attacking third of the pitch, playing one sublime reverse path into the path of Serge Gnabry.

The hype surrounding him may have been rather unbearable at times, but, given time to develop, Gedion Zelalem could well emerge into a very promising player indeed. Here's a quote from Matt Pilkington, who coached the youngster before he joined Arsenal: "Gedion is a special talent with vision and creativity that is rarely seen, even at the highest level.  His touch, balance and ideas set him apart and he has potential to become one of top players in the game, with a similar style to the great Zidane." Rather impressive stuff...