Monday, July 15, 2024

Zelalem hoping to use loan spell to prove he still has a future at Arsenal

Gedion Zelalem has long been tipped to make the breakthrough into the first-team at Arsenal, but, so far at least, that prediction has failed to come true.

The United States youth international is undoubtedly a superb passer of the ball – that much has been in evidence since he first joined Arsenal – but, having made just four competitive appearances for the Gunners across all competitions, Zelalem is now being sent out on loan again, with Dutch second division side VVV-Venlo his destination.

In making the switch to the Netherlands, Zelalem will join a growing contingent of Arsenal youngsters playing in the country, including Dan Crowley, another starlet who has so far been unable to fulfil his vast potential.

Zelalem is rather unfortunate in that he finds himself behind several talented midfielders at Arsenal, but, even in situations when the Gunners’ options in that area have been limited due to injuries and suspensions, the talented youngster still hasn’t been called upon.

Having gained experience while on loan at Rangers last season it was anticipated that this campaign Zelalem would, at the very least, become increasingly involved with the first-team squad. He has, however, been restricted to two substitute appearances in the EFL Cup, with his situation at times becoming especially frustrating with the prospect having occasionally even failed to get into the starting line-up at U23 level.

This latest loan switch doesn’t signify the end of Zelalem’s Arsenal career and there have been suggestions that he has signed a new contract, but there is certainly a feeling that a lot will have to change in order for him to be given an opportunity at the club.

Zelalem’s game understanding and aforementioned craft of being able to unlock defences with precise passes suggests that, if he was to be thrown into the Arsenal first-team, there is a good chance that he would seize his opportunity, especially as he has shown some significant improvements defensively this campaign.

Now, though, time is running out for Zelalem to be given a chance. All he can do is attempt to make an impact at VVV-Venlo and hope that an opportunity to finally make the breakthrough at Arsenal will follow.

Jeorge Bird is the author of Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird

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Make mine a Swiss miss

well good luck to him of course.
Long way to go from not getting into the U23s to being in the Arsenal first team but stranger things have happened.

Ooo To Be A, Gooner

Technically great, physically not so much, think he’d struggle with the physicality and rigours of a Premier League season. Good luck to him, he looks a useful player so hopefully he can carve out a place in the first team eventually.

Q3 Technique

I think his bigger problem is not being good enough defensively. After all players like Modric, who are not physically great, still excel in the premier league.

Only players as technically gifted as Ozil can have their defensive frailties so easily overlooked…


He was a known “party animal” in his time in Scotland, my worry isn’t about his ability but maybe his mentality off the field. Hopefully he doesn’t waste his talent.


I’m not sure why there is always so much urgency to pronounce a player’s career with Arsenal as over.

Coquelin did not break through till 23yrs.

Zelalem is still young and needs experience.

If he has a loss of proper motivation is another thing.

Heavenly Chapecoense

This means there are no Championship clubs wanting him on loan. Would he break into the first team even with great performances at VVV Venlo ?

David Johnson

Wenger seem to have lost faith in the ability of the championship to adequately develop players. For all we know there were clubs interested

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