The reports that Gedion Zelalem was heading to the Westfalenstadion to play for Thomas Tuchel and Borussia Dortmund were quickly extinguished when the German skipper commented that he would not look to add additional players during the month of January. With the emergence of talented players like Ousmane Dembélé, this is not a particularly startling revelation.
Zelalem has made two appearances for Arsenal in the EFL Cup during this current campaign. Even though he has gained first team experience this season, Gedion has mainly been playing with the reserves in the Premier League 2. If he remains with Arsenal this season, his role would not expand significantly. At 19 and entering the third year with the senior team, he has not featured for Arsenal in the Premier League. After a loan to Rangers and twenty-one appearances in the Scottish Championship, some people thought that he might be ready to take the next step. Unfortunately, it appears that Zelalem may need to take the next step in his development away from Arsenal Football Club.
Possible news this week on Arsenal loaning US youth intl Gedion Zelalem for rest of season. "Interesting teams" in mix, I'm told. #Gunners— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) January 18, 2017
With a move to Dortmund ruled out, it’s difficult to project where he might end up if he is sent out on loan. “Interesting teams” could mean a lot of different things. There hasn’t been a lot of evidence to suggest where he may go if Arsenal decides to loan him for the remainder of the season. He certainly has the talent to feature in most leagues throughout the world.
Bruce Arena, current manager of the United States Men’s National Team, will certainly be interested in where Zelalem eventually continues his playing career. Zelalem is eligible to play for the United States, Germany, and Ethiopia but has appeared for the United States U20 and U23 teams after gaining his citizenship in 2014.
EDITOR’S NOTE: we are aware that the person in the photo at the top of the article may not be Gedion Zelalem. We use Getty’s photo archive, and all the “Gedion Zelalem” searches for recent images return a similar image to the one above. Thanks to some folks in the comments, we looked into it further and the picture we used bears a resemblance to Joe Willock, as referenced in the comments. Or it may be Reiss Nelson.
We’ve been furiously trying to determine who the subject of the photo is, is the point. With extremely young players particularly, they change physically often enough that it is sometimes hard to be 100% sure - and since we don’t control Getty’s tagging or metadata, we have to rely on what they do.
If we come to a definitive conclusion, we will update the image or the caption or otherwise indicate that the person pictured is the correct person. Apologies for the confusion.
UPDATE 2, SAT 3.45PM:
the original photo couldn’t be unequivocally identified, so we switched it for one we know is Zelalem.