'Cesc-esque' - Arsenal fans react on Twitter to Zelalem U19 display, after contract deal

Gedion Zelalem

Arsenal whizkid Gedion Zelalem signed a new contract with the club yesterday, with the news announced shortly before he featured in the UEFA Youth League against Barcelona.

Arsenal received a welcome triple boost on Tuesday when it was announced by the club that Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla, and youth star Gedion Zelalem had agreed new deals.

Zelalem is regarded as Arsenal's most promising youngster, making his debut days after his 17th birthday in January, and was even born after Arsene Wenger was appointed as manager.

Held in high esteem, he trained with the first team ahead of the North London Derby at the weekend, and featured in pre-season.

Central midfield star Zelalem was part of Arsenal's under-19 side which tackled Barcelona in the UEFA Youth League yesterday, going down 4-2 in the 5pm kick-off.

With the game televised on Eurosport, it was a great chance for fans to catch the teenager in action, and very timely in light of his contract signing.

Serge Gnabry scored an impressive goal, and Chuba Akpom netting a late consolation, while Kristoffer Olsson missed a first half penalty.

Arsenal were very much in the game until goalkeeper Dejan Iliev was sent off, and Zelalem was the unfortunate player sacrificed on the hour mark.

The lively midfielder showed his class with several excellent touches, enjoying the stage at the Mini Estadi to show off his skills.

Perhaps the hype surrounding the teenager is such that the expectations upon him are ridiculously high, with a handful of fans critical of elements of his play - although by no means is Zelalem the finished article just yet, and critique can help him become the player he ultimately desires to become.

Here is a look at how supporters reacted to seeing him in action...

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