Earlier today, sources were saying it looked like Gedion Zelalem was going on loan to Rangers. Now, the Guardian is reporting that the move is official.
David Hytner is reporting that the deal is initially set to go to January with an option to extend for the full season. Hytner does not state which club has the option, or if it must be agreed upon by both clubs.
Many have speculated on potential reasons as to why Arsene Wenger would send Zelalem to Scotland, but, according to the report, "Wenger believes that he will benefit from playing in front of big crowds at Ibrox."
You may recall I was initially skeptical of this proposed move. Can't say that the intervening hours have changed my opinion of it too much. While 18 years old is far too young an age to write any prospect off, I am having a hard time believing Zelalem could not have gotten significant playing time at a club at a higher level. For him to be placed with a side that is, at best, in a League One-equivalent league (despite whatever history the club has) is troubling. Hopefully the benefit of playing any sort of organized, professional match will trump spending more time at Arsenal with the U-21s.
It will be interesting to see where Zelalem plays for Rangers. Arsenal have played him in a deeper midfield role the past year, but he has always performed better as a number 10.
We here at The Short Fuse wish Gedion all the best in his 4-9 month stint in Glasgow.