Rangers keep Zelalem, Hayden in limbo + academy duo pen deals


Arsenal have confirmed that Gedion Zelalem will spend the rest of the season with Rangers after extending his loan spell at Ibrox.

The 18-year-old has enjoyed his spell in the Scottish Championship since moving north of the border in the summer, featuring 12 times for Mark Warburton’s table-topping promotion hopefuls.

News of Zelalem’s extension comes in stark contrast to rumours that Serge Gnabry and Isaac Hayden could call time on their current loan deals with West Brom and Hull respectively because they aren’t seeing enough first team action.

Hayden had been on the cusp of a loan deal with a new club only for Steve Bruce to confirm on New Year’s Day that it had fallen and that the midfielder could yet stay at the KC Stadium.

“It’s not done and dusted with Isaac,” Bruce is quoted as saying by the Hull Daily Mail.

“A move for him stuttered and has fallen through at the moment. He wants to play, the kid, and I can understand that. It’s frustrating for him because he wanted to come and play.

“That opportunity hasn’t progressed and as far as we’re concerned he stays with us. We’ve got an agreement with Arsenal that if a club can guarantee him first-team football then the boy wants to play.”

Elsewhere, a couple of young hopefuls have enjoyed a big day at London Colney. Tafari Moore, 18, has agreed a new deal with the club, while England under-17 international, Tolaji Bola, has signed his first professional contract. Good luck to them.

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17 Comments on "Rangers keep Zelalem, Hayden in limbo + academy duo pen deals"

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How about Dan Crowley? Will he go out on loan again or will he be in the squad for this weekend’s game against Sunderland?

Franny Jeffers

Zelalem is a joy to watch – needs to toughen up a bit, but technically exceptional. Only going to get better and better.


I suppose comments like this is because we generally want to be positive for our players, otherwise no one has and idea how he will turn out.


So much potential in youth set up…lets hope more of it is realised. On a side note Zelalem was so hyped, is it not a worry hes playing at a scottish championship standard….when you think back to other young stars who went straight in at the top? I mean yh that standard at 18 is bloody brilliant for me and you but all the same its not getting ready for premier league….in any way.


It’s not a bad set up at Rangers, decent coaching, big stadium, pressure to succeed. And if toughening him up is the goal then Scottish league will be fine.


Iirc, Gattuso featured at one point in Scotland. Also Arteta. I doubt many people were doubting their career for having played there.


We are talking about a young player whose technical ability and vision have been recognized as exceptional for several years. My understanding is the only doubts about the lad concern his slight frame and ability to withstand the physical side of the game. Ergo, if he can survive the Scottish second tier and learn how to deal with all the kicks and barges, while he fills out a bit, won’t he be ideally suited to moving up a couple of levels on route to Arsenal?

Goone's Farm

This was mentioned as one of the reasons why Ibrox was the opted destination for his season-long loan. When you add to it, like others said, that the club has a training ground better than most Championship clubs, a quality manager that wants to play good football, and a pressure to win every game, the deal makes perfect sense.

Danger Mouse

A diet of deep fried Mars bars and Irn Bru will make a man of him.


You know they also have deep fried meat pies up there too….

Making it essentially a pie within another pie. If that doesn’t help put heair on your plums, I don’t know what else will.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Agree but from what I saw watching him play for US youth team, he disappears from the game too many times. You see nice flashes but he needs to boss the midfield. Wenger should also allow him time around Cazorla and Ozil. He looks a lot like Giovanni Do Santos who was spoken about at Barcelona under Rijkaard just like Zelalem but was unable to boss midfield with that neighbouring PL team we all hate. Even Ozil had to further develop his physical side and we are seeing the results.


He cannot possibly be at the stage where he can be in total control of matches. He’s 18, relatively inexperienced and naturally not very physically imposing.

In fact, I agree with all you say expect the comparsion to Dos Santos, who was more of a dribbler – a tricky customer in the wing. Our guys is different. Who doesn’t remember those two defense splitting passes in the Asian tour back when he was 16, that had me tearing my hair in disbelief? I don’t think a player can lose (or readily gain) that.

Yes, we should hope he can continue his fine development at Rangers, then some time with Cazorla and Ozil would provide the finishing touch.

Andy Mack

It’s the same problem all the youngsters have, Inconsistency.
Hopefully he’ll grow out of it long before 23 which is when most do (yes some do at 20 and some as late as 25 but usually it’s around 23 years old).

Indie Gooner

Has anyone seen Tolaji Bola? He is a beast in the making!
I hope everyone mentioned live up to their potentials.

Andy Mack

There’s an interesting interview with Akpom and Hayden on the Arsenal YouTube channel.


Just read a ‘half term report’ on a Rangers blog and it said Zelalem was great for the first part of the season, then got injured in the international break and hasn’t been the same since. Now he’s struggling to get a game and Rangers are just about to sign a couple of midfielders too. The verdict was that he’s faded but obviously they want him and think he can come good again


Let’s give Zelalem a break here, he is 18. His body itself is still changing and I think it’s great to see him doing well at Rangers. Who knows, he might even be able to join them again next season when they are promoted. If you want to say your worries about his inconsistency, don’t threat too much as we have Jack Wilshire and his inconsistency is he can’t play more than 1 bloody game before being ruled out for 2 years….thinking about it, he is actually consistent for being injured haha. Anyway Z will be at least, a Good player in the future!