Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Zelalem linked with Scottish move

Loan moves for Arsenal youngsters are not uncommon, but reports this afternoon have linked Gedion Zelalem with a move to Rangers in Scotland.

The former SPL club have worked their way back into the Championship (one league below the top division) and, according to the STV website, talks are planned to bring the 18 year old to Ibrox.

Rangers have won their opening two games of the season, and last week signed winger Nathan Oduwa and defensive-midfielder Dominic Ball on a season-long loan from Sp*rs.

We’ll obviously have to wait and see what happens with this one, but this would certainly toughen him up if it did go through.

More on this if and when it happens.

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Would be a decent move if he plays regularly.

Rectum Spectrum

really? the championship league there is so far behind the english championship technically. does he need to go to a league where he will be one of the most technically gifted players already? brutal physically which can be a bad thing. i don’t really buy the ‘toughen up’ perspective.


Me neither. Anyone would think we were planning on being relegated the way we’re telling our kids they’ve got to toughen up and learn lower-league style. It’s not like Premiership games are still played on potato patches with everyone kicking their opponents black and blue. According to Bild, Hertha Berlin wanted Zelalem on loan and they’re absolutely incredulous that Arsenal have turned them down in favour of bloody Rangers. So am I. The Bundesliga is plenty tough enough for anybody and as it’s skilful to boot he’d get a chance to pit himself against some top-class opposition. The Scottish lower… Read more »


The other thing that saddens me a bit about all these loans is that we don’t seem to care at all about our kids doing well in the kids’ leagues, growing together as a generation and acquiring the habit of winning. OK, Akpom and Wellington are now too old for the Uefa Youth Cup, but some of our loanees are 17. I’d have liked to have seen them strutting their stuff against Europe’s elite in the kids’ CL. Wenger said that they’ve got nothing more to learn in the under-21s league. Really? I’d have thought learning to win enough games… Read more »


I don’t know really.. sending players to weak leagues where they still don’t necessarily will play is not the best way of development. If a kid like Oxford can play against one of the most talented midfielders in the world, why Zelalem can’t?

Andy Mack

We have loads of players ahead of him for 1st team places, so he will not get any 1st team time this season except possibly a few Tin Pot Cup games. Personally I think he should stay with the reserves for 1 more year and then look for a championship loan, as the Scottish ‘championship’ is equal to our reserves quality-wise but with bigger crowds and much more chance of serious injury.

Gus Caesar

The issue with reserve team football is that it’s patchy in quantity and isn’t pressurising or likely to develop someone already at that level. I’d rather GZ went to a higher level but he’ll still develop from the expectation of performing at a big club like Rangers. The reserves should be the place for talented youngsters like Ben Sheaf to move into.

NX Gooner Girl

Scottish championship equal to our reserves….???? really get those red and white tinted glasses off. Our reserves play in division 2 against the likes of Brighton, Reading, Boro and Wolves. We were relegated in 2014 and ended up 13 points behind promoted Boro last year. For various reasons our youth set up has struggled in recent times. And for now our best youngsters aint playing the best of Man Utd, Liverpool and Spuds. As Wenger said a few days ago we need our players playing competitive games with the pressure and build up that you dont get in the reserves.… Read more »


I don’t believe that Zelalem has the necessary pace to play for arsenal (in the long run). Athletically, he is slow, albeit very agile and coordinated, and lacks strength. While of course he can improve his strength, I believe that his lack of pace will limit the level he can reach. I think the question is not whether he will play regularly for Arsenal in the future but whether he plays regularly in a decent first division league anywhere.

I hope that I’m wrong but I don’t think that will be the case.


Tell that to Cesc who was hardly a trailblazer!

Out and out pace is handy but speed of thought and ability to keep possession in tight spaces this kid has in spades. Just needs to bulk up a bit so he doesn’t get bumped off the ball


I hope that you’re right and I’m wrong, but check back in 5 years. I bet he goes through 5 different loan spells and ends up at a second division team (think Josh McEachran)

the only sam is nelson

I was at the Celtic vs Partick Thistle game at Parkhead back in May and the standard in the prem in Scotland isn’t exactly high so I’d have difficulty imagining what a creative midfielder like Zelalem has to gain from this move (and equally what Arsenal have to gain). That, plus I’m of a generation that associates the Hun with Spuds (Roberts, Gough, Gasgoigne, etc) means I’d rather see him either at a SPL club or at least a championship club in the English leagues

Andy Mack

Peter Marinello, Willie Young, George Graham, Frank Mclintock and many more

J Bird

Competitive football is the key here. The crowds will be bigger and so will the pressure, not to mention playing for meaningful points. These will all improve him. At this moment in time I don’t think Zelalem is ready for The Championship in this country so either League One like Crowley or Rangers would be an ideal move. Hopefully Scotland will toughen him up and get him working off the ball because those are aspects of his game that he needs to improve on. On top of this Rangers have excellent quality facilities compared to League One clubs and a… Read more »


I have just watched his great team goal for the U21s from their last match against Fulham and I must say that he is more than capable of playing regularly for any team in English Championship (at least). The Scottish second league just doesn’t seem good enough to me, to be honest. What is this, equivalent to English League 1/2?

But something is definitely better than nothing. I really have high hopes for this boy.


What about the pressure of playing in front of 50000 baying fans who expect wins every week? Valuable experience. Also gaffer is the former Brentford boss who likes to play decent football.


Id have thought Mk Fons woulf have been all over this, especially after selling Alli to spuds. Would be a good place for him to develop his game, plus i couldve kept an eye on his development 🙁

J Bird

In my opinion, Crowley is better than Zelalem and went to a League One club in Barnsley. Both don’t have the frame for The Championship just yet, also I don’t think Zelalem has the intensity and urgency in his game for it either. A League One club or Rangers would be a good stepping stone for him and if he thrives there then a Championship club would be natural progression for next season.


They’ll break him !!


By 2021 he’ll be the best midfielder in the league.

Fifa says so. #BelieveInGedion

Andy Mack

Do we have to wait that long? 😉


For reference, Newcastle sent some players to rangers last season, all some distance from the first team, and I think they did quite well there, Vuckic in particular.

I follow Hearts in Scotland, so I’m familiar with the championship, and it’s a bit of an odd league. Hibs and rangers are two big teams, but the rest of the league are borderline semi-pro. It’s a considerably lower standard than league one.

Cornelius P. Snuffington III

Newcastle may have sent players there, but Newcastle are shite, so…


He’ll be playing in front of 50,000 fans every 2nd week up here and he’ll be under intense pressure to win every single game.


Hahahahahahaa don’t go sevco Gedion mate


Rangers have scored 17 goals in 4 games this season yes the standard isn’t as high but he will be playing in infront of 50000 fans. Rangers beat 3 spl teams last season with a much weaker team so will be looking to do well in cups and qualify for Europe s


Glasgow Rangers held shares in Arsenal from 1910 until very recently.

The boy will get to play in front of 55,000 every second week and will be using top class training facilities plus looked after by a very good manager in Mark Warburton. You’re not really going to get that outside the top half of the premier league.

Also the away games will get him used to terrible pitches and some hard tackles.

Win win situation?


I thought this was a bad idea until I read your comment, you have changed my mind.

Though, half aggree with the ‘they’ll break him’ comment


I think playing in front of 50 thousand fans at Ibrox every home game would be a fantastic experience for any young player, on returning to parent club, manager would have no problem throwing these boys into Premiership games.


A move to Rangers is ideal as long as he gets decent game time. Rangers have a huge fan base and huge expectation every week so the mental and psychological learning curve is there.

The opposition isn’t wonderful but he’ll gain confidence in expressing himself. Training facilities are UEFA 5* standard, not many English clubs can offer that.

When he comes back I hope Wenger gives him a chance during next year’s pre season… a definite prospect.

Man Manny

More like playing in the third tier of the English league. Why not a mid-table championship team here in England instead.

Rangers Fan

The comments about the standard of the first division are fair, but there’s a few things to offset that at least to some extent in terms of the kid’s development. 1) Rangers have state of the art training facilities in Murray Park. Cost £14m in 2001 which is about £21m in today’s money. No Championship clubs have comparable facilities. 2) Rangers’ home games can have an atmosphere comparable with the EPL. Our opening day game was a 50,000 sell out. Playing in that atmosphere offers something to a player’s development that playing in front of 12,000 at Brentford for example… Read more »

Bendtner's Ego

I think most would definitely agree that this is a level above “reserve team” football.

However I also think that many fans would be concerned about him getting Dan Smith’d by some Lee Cattermole wannabe.

Third Plebeian

Thanks for the info. Feeling a little better about this. Rangers are undoubtedly a big club, and even if the opposition week to week isn’t great, there’s still intense pressure from the club / fans to do well.

This is exactly the kind of pressure Zelalem faces, because for years now he’s been talked about as the next big thing to happen in US Soccer, the next Fabregas, etc., etc. Going to Rangers, he’ll be expected to be a winner every single weekend, and prove to everyone that he’s the real deal.

It’s a good move.


But will there be crowds at the matches? Why hasn’t anyone mentioned how many people go to Ibrox?

Rangers fan

That has been address. First two home games of the season are now set to be sell outs.

Third Plebeian

This made me laugh, but they raise a fair point, don’t you think? There will be far more pressure at Rangers not only because of the size of the support, but also because every last one their fans expects Rangers to win Every. Single. Game. (And the Championship title…at a canter.) You’re not going to find that at Bolton, for example, where Wellington will…uh…play?

Could be a good environment for Zelalem.

Didn’t do Arteta any harm, either, did it?


50000 sellout in their first game against St Mirren. On the Rangers website it says they’re on course for another sellout against Hibs on Sunday.

Grant Robertson

Hi, Rangers fan here! Hope you don’t mind me commenting…. I really hope this deal comes off – he seems like a talented player and would thrive under the new Rangers regime under Mark Warburton. As a ST holder at ibrox i’ve seen the progress the team have made since last season. We’re playing expansive, passing, attacking football and young players are exactly what Warburton is about, he knows how to develop players and look after players. Not to mention the facilities – Ibrox (other than hampden) is the only 5* facility in Scotland, not to mention the training centre/academy.… Read more »

Merlin's Panini

I think he needs to move a step higher than a second division Scottish Club. That league is pisswater. Might as well go to league one.
I think he needs to go on loan to a Championship club at the very least.


Really do not like the level of the league which Rangers play, Hibs and Rangers will be promoted by January, therefore the standard of play is poor in that league. How ever if its an opportunity to get a lot of game time, it would be great for our developing, he can use the league as his own experiment ground, there are some areas he most improve on, 1. his own physicality, would not mind the oppositions roughing him up as long he does not get any injuries. 2. His finishing, he his not really a great shooter of the… Read more »


They can’t both be promoted by January. One automatic promotion spot, one playoff.


Should a Scottish Premiership team. He is good enough to rule it, up here.


the league is tough – he needs to improve that side of his game

Third Plebeian

I guess one thing is that he’ll need to learn the language.

Och aye, Gedion.


Theu might ‘break him’ as in help him come out of that tiny boy shell and be a real footballer man or they might ‘break him’ which could mean really BREAK HIM!

Gus Caesar

It’s a slight surprise that we’re willing to loan a player to Rangers again – they didn’t pay up the required loan fee for Kyle Bartley the last time…

Scott McLeod

As someone who grew up in a Rangers family, this delights me. He probably could go to a higher level, but with a manager now who’s looking to play good football, great facilities and big crowds, it could be a decent starting point for him, with an eventual Championship loan on the horizon in the future. The standard isn’t great every week, but he’ll get to experience playing at tough, small grounds, which could prepare him for you-know-where etc., and a chance to play SPL opposition (the level we ought to be at) in the cups if he can nail… Read more »


I can’t wait to make Zelalem/Slalom puns in the future, after he weaves his way through a crowd of Spuds to score the winning goal.

chippy's chip



1) This young man is very good and clearly technically able, the Scottish Championship is not but then neither is anything below the top half of the Premiership really, even if it would be harder to get a winning result. If this young man is very talented and technically able – what is he missing to make it as an Arsenal player intent on winning everything? I would suggest that physicality, quick decision making, playing in front of a big crowd, playing in one of the worlds biggest derbies, being expected to win every single game, fighting on 4 fronts,… Read more »

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