by Lewis Ambrose

Rather ridiculously it is a big thing to name young talents the ‘new’ version of a current talent before the original version is even out of his twenties.

Even more ridiculously it doesn’t actually give the young player the freedom to be himself and heaps pressure on him before his career has even started.

In this instance it it even worse, with Het Belang van Limburg naming a number of players the ‘new Messis’ and including Gedion Zelalem, who isn’t actually anything like Lionel Messi at all.


Zelalem was granted US Citizenship and has just represented America for the first time.

The midfielder went straight into the team for the u20 World Cup in New Zealand, with America losing out at the quarter-final stage.

Other than having huge technical ability and a great understanding of the game Zelalem isn’t very much like Messi at all.

He is a midfielder who isn’t particularly small, but his technique and eye for a pass does make him stand out even playing with players one or two years his senior.

The Belgian paper say Zelalem is expected – and able – to showcase his talent at a higher level in the near future, which fits in with the desire of Zelalem himself.


On Thursday I wrote about the teenage midfielder’s wishes to break into the Arsenal first-team squad in the coming season.

What is beyond doubt is that Zelalem has the talent to make it. As long as he has the attitude and a little bit of luck, he could be a star.