Arsenal's Gedion Zelalem still subject of international tug-of-war

Gedion Zelalem

Despite seemingly being close to switching allegiances to the USA, the teenage midfielder has now been called up to the Germany Under-18 national team.

Gedion Zelalem might be in the process of becoming eligible for the US national team but the German Football Association still don’t appear to have given up hope of holding onto his services.

The Arsenal midfielder has been called up to their Under-18 side for a pair of friendlies against France on March 27 and March 30, although it remains to be seen whether he will even accept the invitation at this point.

Furthermore, given that neither match could affect his proposed switch to the stars and stripes, there is little reason for US fans to panic at this point.

One of Gunners’ top prospects, Zelalem has been exciting American fans ever since he first surfaced as a potential option for the US and is now believed to be acquiring a waiver that would allow him to represent Jurgen Klinsmann’s outfit as soon as April.

Aged just 18, the Berlin-born starlet emigrated to the States in 2006 with his father and, having now acquired citizenship, is just awaiting clearance from FIFA before he can turn out for his adopted nation.

Despite making just two first-team cameos for Arsenal over the past 14 months, Klinsmann is prepared to fast-track him straight into the senior setup, too, telling Goal.com earlier this month: “[Zelalem] is a special case. He’s a special player. I think he’s already at a level that he can definitely play on the senior team.

“Definitely I would like to see him with me first. I want to kind of see how he interacts with the whole group and what level he’s in, and then for the next dates then totally open then to have him play with the U-23s or with [U.S. Under-20 coach Tab Ramos].”

The fact the Germans are lurking will have no doubt provoked Klinsmann's somewhat outlandish remarks but, at the same time, it's also clear that Zelalem boasts huge potential and could become a core part of the US midfield down the road if and when FIFA approve his one-time switch.

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