Arsenal starlet Gedion Zelalem has finally been cleared to play international football for the United States by FIFA following a period of relative obscurity in terms of his international career, Sports Illustrated reports.
Gedion, born to Ethiopian parents, had a number of options in terms of which national team he’d want to represent, considering that he was born in Germany and recently obtained US citizenship, as the report suggests.
The gifted playmaker moved to America at the age of nine and it was his performances in that region which caught the eye of our scout, and former player, Daniel Karbassiyoon.
“Awareness and ability to retain possession,” our former midfielder told One World Sports when asked what qualities encouraged him to bring Zelalem to Arsenal.
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The FIFA clearance is a timely one with the 18-year-old now able to feature in the U-20 World Cup this summer.
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A senior call-up is imminent too, according to the Mirror, as Jurgen Klinsmann prepares a squad capable of winning the CONCACAF Gold Cup this summer. The former icon had recently hinted that he was prepared to call-up Zelalem as soon as he was legally able to.
“I think he’s already at a level that he can definitely play on the senior team,” Klinsmann said in March (via ESPN).
The US national team’s performance at the World Cup enhanced their credibility world-wide, but Arsene Wenger would’ve surely preferred Zelalem to play for Germany.
Not only would the trips be shorter, but the competitive level would be greater leading to Zelalem potentially developing into the midfielder we all hope he’ll become.
Either way, good luck Gedion!