Gedion Zelalem will spend the next season on loan in the second division of Scottish Football with Rangers F.C.
Born in Germany, Zelalem moved to the United States when he was nine, and was scouted by Arsenal at a youth tournament in Dallas.
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A standout at the Arsenal academy, Zelalem came on as a substitute in a Champions League match against Galatasaray last December, and played with the first-team during the Gunners’ preseason tour of Asia this summer.
Earlier this week it was reported that the 18-year-old was close to sealing a loan move to Rangers, and he was seen in the stands at the Ibrox Stadium today, where Rangers defeated Hibernian 1-0.
Following the match, Rangers’ manager Mark Warburton confirmed that Zelalem would start training with the club on Monday.
He was watching the game today in the stand.
He will be training with us tomorrow and will be part of the squad.
I am delighted to get hold of him. I would like to welcome him on board. He is another young, very talented player.”
Rangers is one of the most decorated sides in European football, winning 54 league titles in the club’s 143 year history. However, the club hit financial troubles and was forced to enter administration in 2012, being placed into the fourth-tier of Scottish football. Back-to-back promotions have seen the club rise into the second division, with hopes of climbing back into the Scottish Premiership next season.
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After starring for the United States in the U-20 World Cup this summer, Zelalem will find more first-team minutes at Rangers, and will learn to adapt to the physical nature of playing second-division football. For one of Jurgen Klinsmann’s brightest prospects for the USMNT, this is an important step in the teenager’s career.