by Lee Hurley
Gedion Zelalem is currently on international duty at the u20 World Cup in New Zealand.
Shining for the US in their first game, showing off his selection of skills, the youngster showed no signs of nerves in his competitive international debut.
Speaking to Vice sports after the game, the youngster said
“Soccer is growing every day in America. The MLS is getting bigger, and we have some really talented players in this group. I think we’ll do really well in this tournament.
“I didn’t think I was going to be in this group because it took like four or five months [to sort out registration].
“[FIFA] gave me a week as a window, and I thought ‘there’s no way it will come now in this week.’ But it did. I was very excited. I called my friends and told them I was playing for the US.
“It means everything [to play for the US].
“Most of my important years I lived in America. All my friends are there, my family are there. I feel American. I’m very excited to be there.”
It’s not clear what next season holds for Zelalem at Arsenal. Likely we will see him in the Capital One squad until they get knocked out and possibly leave on loan in January.
He’s still some way from being ready for the first team, but the talent is undoubtedly there, as is the desire to seize his opportunity.
Here are his MOTM-winning individual highlights from his game against the hosts: