Whilst many Gooners will be hoping to hear transfer news that involves players joining the club, one of today’s rumours involves a player’s exit from the Emirates! Gedion Zelalem is a player that’s slowly becoming a forgotten man, despite many years of promise at Arsenal. But now it seems that a move to Borussia Dortmund may be on the cards.
Zelalem, who is still only 19 years old, hasn’t managed to get any opportunities at Arsenal this season and it is almost three years since he made his Arsenal debut as a 16 year old back in January 2014. At the time he was highly regarded as a future Arsenal star, however limited opportunities since then have hampered his progress with the club and now he finds himself contemplating a move away. The German born midfielder spent last season on loan at Scottish giants Rangers and despite starring for the side on occasion, it was clear that he still isn’t entirely ready for first team football.
One of the major issues to Zelalem’s game is his physicality. He has the creativity and passing ability, so much so I thought he was certain to be an Arsenal regular in the future once he build himself up. However his physicality is still the same as it was three years ago and he simply just doesn’t have the build for the Premier League. The league may be pacey and full of skill, but it’s also a league that’s dominated with physical players and I can just see Zelalem being easily pushed off the ball.
It is unconfirmed as to whether Dortmund are interested in the midfielder on loan or in a permanent deal. Zelalem currently has two and a half years left on his Arsenal contract that will see him up until his 22nd birthday. At 19 years old, Zelalem still has plenty of time to show Arsenal what he’s capable of and we don’t want another case of letting a player go before he’s been able to prove his worth (Gnabry anyone?), but how realistic is it he will get a run in this competitive midfield. The player is not even on the fringes of an Arsenal first team appearance and so I’m sure he is considering whether his future still lies with Arsenal.
A move to Dortmund would be a very good transfer for the player if he is assured first team opportunities. But much like at Arsenal, Dortmund’s midfield is packed full of talent and the 19 year old may struggle with breaking into the lineup.
Is he likely to play more in Germany that he would here?