Bayern wonderkid makes controversial decision; Arsenal's Zelalem next up?

Gedion Zelalem

Julian Green of Bayern Munich has chosen the USA instead of Germany; will Jurgen Klinsmann switch his attentions now to Arsenal's Gedion Zelalem at the wishes of the American public?

Arsenal youngster Gedion Zelalem signed a new long-term contract at the club this week, giving him clarity over his coming years of development at The Emirates.

There is one are of his footballing future however which is not so clear; and that's his international allegiance.

Right now, it appears Zelalem has committed his future to Germany, featuring for their under-17 side last year. But there is a real pressure to get him to switch to the USA for who he is also potentially eligible as he previously lived for eight years in the country.

Last month American soccer fans created a petition to file to president Barack Obama asking him to step in and 'do whatever it takes' to get the coveted young midfielder to switch sides.

Barring the presidential involvement, such decisions are not unusual for young players - just last month Manchester United trainee Andreas Pereira decided to turn his back on Belgium, who he had represented at several levels, to commit his future to Brazil who he also qualified to play for.

Well now fans of the USA men's national team (MNT) as it is known, have hope after securing a major coup over Germany by convincing Bayern Munich wonderkid Julian Green to play for them.

Green, 18, has an impressive 15 goals and seven assists in 21 games for Bayern's youth sides and has one brief Champions League appearance to his name for the first team as a substitute. Given Pep Guardiola's track record of blooding young talent his prospects look extremely positive despite the competition for places at the club.

He had been a regular for Germany's youth sides, playing at under-16, under-17, and under-19 level, most recently in October last year against Scotland.

This week he formally announced he would be choosing to play for USA, the country in which he was born - to play internationally, having been courted personally by manager Jurgen Klinsmann and senior player Clint Dempsey.

The news delighted fans in America, who urged Klinsmann and co to turn their attention to Arsenal's Zelalem.

So will former Spurs hero Klinsmann turn his attention to Zelalem next? It's unclear if he has any plans to, but having secured Green as part of his plans, it's a logical next step.

He may not have as much success, unlike Green, Zelalem was born in Berlin, and crucially has clubmates Per Mertesacker, Mesut Ozil, Lukas Podolski and Serge Gnabry all likely to give him a stern talking to should he turn his back on Germany.

Even so, Klinsmann would be remiss at least not to give it a shot.

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