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Zelalem to sign new Arsenal deal

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By Jonathan Nightingale

Tuesday 11 March 2014

Arsenal’s teenage star Gedion Zelalem looks set to sign his first professional contract with the club, according to the Daily Mail.

The 17-year-old midfielder made is first team debut against Coventry in the FA Cup from the bench and now will commit his future to the club until 2017.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger spotted the teen from an early age and is looking to put the player on a fast track to the senior first team, alongside the like of rising star Serge Gnabry.

Zelalem has also been named on the bench for three Premier League fixtures but has yet to make his league debut , instead be largely used in the Under 21 Premier League, FA Youth Cup and UEFA Youth League this season.

He made unique history when featuring against Coventry, becoming the first player to be born after Frenchman Wenger took over at the club on 1st October 1996 to play in one of his teams, with his birthday on 26th January 1997.

The player has impressed many of the Arsenal squad already, with Jack Wilshere stating his admiration.

Wilshere said, at the time on a pre season tour of Indonesia: “He sees passes that not a lot of players can and he’s so comfortable on the ball. Even in training, he’s a nightmare to play against.

“He keeps the ball away from you and shields it. He’s not very big but he’s strong. He drifts in and out of players. Technically, he’s right up there. He can use his left and right and he sees so many passes.”

Zelalem was born in Berlin to Ethiopian parents but lived in Washington between the ages of nine and 16.

He is therefore eligible to play for Germany, the United States and Ethiopia. He is a German youth international.

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