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Report: Gedion Zelalem nearing United States citizenship

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Well, that would be pretty cool if he (officially) became an American, huh?

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Big day on the Arsenal Youth beat yesterday as three youngsters made their Champions League debuts. On top of that, there was an update on the citizenship status of one of those debutants.

Steven Goff of the Washington Post reported that Zelalem "prefers to play for the United States rather than Germany" and that his US naturalization is "going well." Furthermore, his Zelalem source even hinted that "some news in short time" on the topic was a possibility.

As you know, TSF delved into the Zelalem citizenship issue with this piece on the mechanics of him becoming a US citizen. As stated in that article, it is much, much easier for Zelalem to become a US citizen prior to the turning 18. Zelalem turns 18 on January 26th, so the notion that news on this topic is imminent is not a surprise. He has to make his decision soon.

The mere fact that he is continuing down this naturalization process is great news for the US Men's National Team. As I detailed in my earlier piece on Zelalem, due to the mechanics of German citizenship law, it makes no sense for Zelalem to become a US citizen if he wants to play for Germany. He would have to choose one or the other by age 23. It just does not make sense to go through the effort and costs to become a US citizenship to only keep said citizenship for 5 years.

We'll see what develops over the next month and a half or so, but it sure looks like Zelalem is well on his way to citizenship.