U19 coach talks up Barca clash as touted teenage Gunner gets more exposure

Gedion Zelalem

Arsenal will face Barcelona in the last eight of the UEFA Youth League. Gedion Zelalem could play a prominent role in the match-up.

Goals from Jon Toral, Kris Olsson and Serge Gnabry saw Arsenal's Under 19 side prevail against Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday evening to set up a quarterfinal clash with Barcelona in the UEFA Youth League.

U19 coach Steve Gatting was delighted with his side's performance at Meadow Park and was quoted by the club's official website to have said: 'Obviously we're delighted with the win and with the performance. They were a good passing side but we tried to pressure them and did well in the first 30 minutes, creating two or three good chances.'

The current team has a number of jewels, including Gnabry, who has scored, on average, once every 54 minutes in UEFA Youth League competition this season, scored two and set up two in the UEFA Premier League and has participated in 786 minutes of senior leave football including appearances in the FA Cup, League Cup, Premier League and Champions League.

Gatting, though, is also blessed with Gedion Zelalem, an attack-minded 17-year-old: 'He's trained with the first team but these games are of a good level and so is the under-21 league. Gedion will improve his power and strength by playing in these games and it's a great experience for him.'

On the upcoming Barcelona examination, he concluded by remarking: 'We're excited, it's what it's all about. Playing Barcelona will be a great experience for the team.'

image: © Kieran Clarke

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