The Arsenal midfielder Gedion Zelalem has been amongst the first team squad for some time now, but has unfortunately never really been able to make his way into the match day squad. The American is a regular amongst the Arsenal youth teams and has been very promising in his quality whist at the club. A loan spell at Scottish giants Rangers also proved his potential, but he still seems no closer to making another appearance with the Arsenal first team.
Zelalem broke onto the scene as a mere teen and it may surprise you to learn he is still only 20 years old. However after a few years of not progressing any higher than the former level, time is not on Zelalem’s side to remain with Arsenal.
The 20 year old is in real danger of falling further down the pecking order at Arsenal, especially with the introduction of more first team signings and youth players such as Jeff Reine Adelaide overtaking him. Furthermore he’s now been dealt a big blow that could mean his chances at Arsenal may be effectively over, with the midfielder having suffered an injury that will rule him out for the majority of next season.
Whilst on international duty with the USA under 20 squad at the Under20 World Cup in South Korea, Zelalem was hauled off the pitch after 34 minutes. He picked up a nasty injury with scans later revealing he had sustained a Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL). The ACL injury is likely to keep him sidelined for at least the next 9 months and so although he would have likely had a 3 month summer break from football anyway, Zelalem will still not return until around March 2018 unless his recovery is quicker than usual.
A return date of March 2018 means that he is unlikely to be sent out on loan after his return next season and he will of course be no closer to a bit of first team action at Arsenal. At 21 years old, he could suffer the same fate as so many Arsenal youngsters before him, of having so much promise, but being unable to fulfil their expectations.