Zelalem linked with Borussia Dortmund move

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Gedion Zelalem is being linked with a move away from Arsenal to Bundlesliga side Borussia Dortmund.

The midfielder, who will turn 20 at the end of the month, appears to be a long way from first team football with Arsenal, and has made just two brief substitute appearances this season in the EFL Cup.

After a decent loan spell with Rangers last season, it looked as if his development was taking shape, but with no regular football bar the U23s he may well be keen to make a move elsewhere.

His current contract expires in June, so he could be available for a knock-down price now, or move on a free in the summer if he’s prepared to wait that long.

If he were to leave, he’d be the second young player to depart for the Bundesliga after Serge Gnabry joined Werder Bremen in the summer.

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    44 COMMENTS

    1. This tells me our youth system is failing. Other than Bellerin and Iwobi no one else has came close to make the grade in about a decade. Wilshire in my opinion hasn’t developed since he was around 19-20, albeit injuries have curtailed him at Arsenal, but as an attacking midfielder his stats don’t really say much if compared with great players.

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      • To be fair jack wilsheres ‘stats’ are not a great way to evaluate him. They are largely based on games in which he is coming back into the squad and trying to regain match fitness and sharpness/games when he was breaking into the squad. I reckon if you take his stats purely from games played after recovery it would be more accurate, but then you have the problem of the fact the teams wilshere has played in for arsenal havent exactly been great. So basically using your eyes and personal judgement on wilshere is probably best. And when he is fit and sharp he is excellent. In my opinion. Wilshere and coq have played together since youth. Great midfield combo in the future. And I think he will stay.

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      • As an Ethiopian Gooner, I was very excited to see the first ever PL player of Ethiopian origin to be playing at Arsenal. It would indeed be sad to see him leave.

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        • I don’t believe this rumor. Jurgen Klinsmann and Wenger both saw something in this kid. USA will structure their team around him, and Wenger clearly rated him highly to just award him a professional contract at such a young age.

          When masters of the game say a kid is good, it seems silly to let him go at the age of 19. There’s no guarantee he would get playing time there either, it’s not as if the Bundesliga is vastly inferior to the EPL. Dortmund is in 6th. They’re not going to use a untested, 19 year old kid as CAM to try to push their way back into the CL.

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          • The boy has not lived to expectation. He was seen as the new Fabregas but Cesc started in first team at age 16, won world cup with Spain at age 20 or so. Not Zelalem’s faut that people started comparing him to Cesc after he showed vision in a couple of pre-season games giving great through balls.I saw him playing for US U20 and he would sleep in the game then wake up for 5 or 10 minutes. He is not a natural fighter but look at where Ozil got not being a natural fighter. Good luck Gedion.

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            • Adding to that how if he’s good enough for Dortmund then he’d be good enough for us to play regularly.

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            • According to The Guardian, his contract has another two and one-half years to run–to the summer of 2019.

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    2. Good luck to him if goes to Dortmund our midfield is pretty crowded. Great club and fans, and Tuchel is one hell of manager. They play offensive football. They got young guns out there with the likes of Dembele ( Don’t know how Arsene miss on that french kid he is way better than the Ox), Emre Mor, Weigl, that other american kid Pulisic. Its a move that would make sense for Gedion. The club should insert a buy back though.

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    3. It would be a very Dortmund move but I always have faith in Arsene for this stuff, very rare we let a good young player go for nothing.

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    4. Good for USA for dynamic winger, Pulisic, and attacking central midfielder, Zelalem to be working together at a quality European club. The kid looks like he needs a sandwich or a meat-pie.

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    5. Dortmund will just leave him in a similar situation that he is now imo. Rather find a club at a good level where he can play regularly, Maybe in the Dutch Eredivisie and negotiate a buy back clause.

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    6. Zelalem is still very raw. He has played very few minutes but when he came in he looked too weak.

      I know he’s young but to be honest i didnt see what all the hype is about.
      The automatic response to these situations is : “If Arsene gave him a contract it must be because he saw something” but Jeff, Iwobi and others that are younger have passed him by, and that also tells that Arsene isnt seeing him anywhere near ready.

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    7. We may have a lot of people in our squad, but let’s be honest, most are not world class. That’s why we can’t risk to involve him and some other young fringe players in games because it’s not like our squad is world class enough to go out there and give us a strong confident win in the ‘easier (relatively)’ fixtures. So we can’t afford to integrate him more into the squad. Neither is our youth team dazzling enough to turn heads, bar some select players. So why not if we really believe he has strong potential, get him to sign a contract extension and loan him out where he can get more regular football. If he is destined to be world class, his performances will turn heads every now and then in awe. But Plz no west brom…

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    8. The main concern with zelalem is his slight frame. He only has a couple years of growing left, if he doesn’t toughen up I cant see him ever making the grade at arsenal. Shame because he is so advanced for his age at just about everything else.

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    9. Don’t get the point about him being slim. Riyad Mahrez is slim but he’s one heck of a player.

      P.S. – Don’t tell me how shite Mahrez has been this season. It isn’t because of his slight frame.

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    10. The overall style of the Bundesliga seems to allow more opportunities for youth players to impress, so a move to BVB can only benefit Zelelam in terms of playing time. The downside being that if he can’t get minutes there, then he will have to accept that traditional top tier football is possibly a step too far, at least in this phase of his playing career.

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    11. They also play proper football in the Bundesliga, and the referees actually call fouls, as opposed to the anything-goes frenetic kickball that passes for football in England.

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    12. Is there a shift in emphasis in the academy and perhaps transfers in general that we should be building their hunger. Think Gnabrys reaction to not being played on loan was the issue. And Zed fell out of the first team at rangers in the second half of the season.

      I think the kids are expected to mature as people and not expect guaranteed first team spots. Up to them to understand the level required of them to break into the first team regularly.

      Holding maybe the same, wenger has said as nuch too, that he needs to learn that mistakes get punished and the level of commitment is another league too. You cant teach that, but all great players have it.

      Szcezny and Bendtner are some of the older generation which must have hurt, spent ages developing them in and out of first team but in the end it was their attitude which failed them and the team.

      The attitude first focus instead of technical is correct.

      The kid who was resigned after being determined to come back after a broken ankle says alot about his attitude…

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    13. IMO Zelalem is no where near our first team because his defensive game is not up to scratch, its not about his physical build. There are plenty of midfielders who have thrived in the Premier League with slight builds (e.g. Modric but the list could go on and on). Its a problem many other current hyped players in the Arsenal youth set-up have. Dan Crowley and Chris Willock are the same – great technical skills, but really poor defensively. Consequently, they won’t get anywhere near the first team and will struggle when they go out on loan. They are simply not that technically special that their defensive deficiencies can be overlooked.

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    14. If there’s one thing about Arsène which is second to none, it is his ability to spot talent and accurately predict their future. He has shown it time and again. Not worried about this one. Hope Zelalem has a successful career!

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