by Lewis Ambrose
Having been granted a US citizenship Arsenal midfielder Gedion Zelalem has been representing the USA at the u20 World Cup, but he is aiming even higher.
The young midfielder became a well-known name in the summer of 2013 when, at the age of just 16, he starred in Arsenal’s pre-season tour.
Since then his rise has been a little more subdued, and the midfielder is looking to change that.
“I’m going to go back for pre-season and try to get into the first team and play some games,” Zelalem said to FIFA.com.
“If I can do that, great. If not, I’ll look to get out on loan somewhere. It’s a dream come true to be at a club like Arsenal and I want to get into the first team this season, play minutes and start matches.
“I have high expectations of myself and if I was to be starting week in, week out, I wouldn’t be surprised.”
Wow. Big words.
Zelalem has the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky in his way if he wants to be starting games but it is brilliant to hear that he has such huge belief in his ability.
The teenage midfielder, now 18 years-old, tucked away his penalty in a quarter-final shootout against Serbia but it wasn’t enough for the USA to go through.
“I think we’ve done well, but we also want to reach higher,” Zelalem said.
“We’re not satisfied just getting to quarter-finals. We want to be reaching finals and winning tournaments.”
He even suggested that the US team could make a big impact on the next World Cup, three years from now.
“We’re definitely progressing. How much potential do we have? A lot. I think at the next World Cup you could see us do really well.
“I think there’s a few guys in this squad, myself included, who could be in the senior squad for the next World Cup and that has to be our aim.”
Playing alongside new teammates in a tournament where the majority of the players were older than him it is impressive how good Zelalem looked and he shouldn’t be stuck in the Arsenal u21 team again next season – he needs to be playing professional football.
Next season his best way in will be to impress in the League Cup. Good performances there could earn a loan spell or even convince Arsène Wenger to use him more often.
It is incredible just how Gedion Zelalem is aiming, and you’d be silly to doubt that he could make it all the way to the top.