Arsenal wonderkid Zelalem: I dreamed of playing alongside Diaby

Arsenal youngster Gedion Zelalem has said he is thrilled to be playing alongside two players in particular.

Many of Arsenal's youngsters received a run out for the first team at the weekend, with Benik Afobe and Kristoffer Olsson on target.

Also among those to feature was highly rated teenager Gedion Zelalem, who made his competitive debut in the FA Cup last season.

The 17-year-old has shown just how young he is, by talking up two stars he idolised in earlier years - one being Abou Diaby.

He told "I'm delighted to play with the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Abou Diaby."

"I grew up watching them, so playing with them is pretty much a dream come true. Hopefully I'll be able to play with them more."

Both players are good compliments for Zelalem's passing game, with the teenager sparkling in the 45 minutes he played against Boreham Wood Town.

Zelalem is a German youth international but is being courted by USA who he is eligible to represent at senior level.

His comments regarding Ramsey and Diaby illustrate that he is still finding his feet at the Gunners despite the opportunities being offered to him, and show the value of pre-season involvement.

If he can get this initial nervousness and adjustment out of the way now, when he gets a chance to play alongside the first team in competitive games, it will feel natural to him and aid him in making an instant impact, and living up to his exciting reputation.

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch