Gedion Zelalem’s loan spell with Dutch side VVV-Venlo has been cut short, after it was confirmed that the midfielder has joined up with his US u20 team-mates ahead of the World Cup in South Korea.

The tournament starts on May 20 and Zelalem is preparing for a two-week training camp ahead of the US’s first group stage fixture against Ecuador on the following Monday.

Not selected for their CONCACAF U20 Championship campaign in February, his experience could prove beneficial here as they aim repeat their success from that tournament when they beat Honduras on penalties to win the final at the start of March.

Having made five appearances at u20 level, this is the final time Zelalem can compete in this age-group before the season is over and a potential senior breakthrough could be on the cards sooner rather than later.

Zelalem’s loan assessed

Having made eight club appearances during his four months in Holland, it’s fair to say that his loan experience itself wasn’t a fantastic one.

Turning 20 in January, it feels very much like we have another Gnabry-like situation on our hands. Reports suggested Zelalem signed a contract extension before making his loan move official but even still, time is ticking and younger alternatives seem to be higher in the pecking order in terms of first-team opportunities.

A number of different Bundesliga clubs are said to be monitoring his situation and they’ve admitted their interest in him previously, so unless he is given a chance to show his ability to play in the first-team, which is far from proven, he could be persuaded to move back to his birthplace.

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Football writer. Objective reviews and analysis of European football. Lifelong Arsenal fan, youth football enthusiast.