Arsenal's Gedion Zelalem enjoying midfield partnership with US Under-20 skipper Emerson Hyndman

Gedion Zelalem

The teenager combined with his Fulham-owned teammate to help Tab Ramos' side thrash New Zealand 4-0 in their second World Cup group game.

Arsenal teenager Gedion Zelalem has hailed his midfield partnership with US Under-20 captain Emerson Hyndman following a winning start to their World Cup campaign.

Zelalem, 18, was speaking to US Soccer after starring alongside the Fulham prospect in his side’s 4-0 thumping of tournament hosts New Zealand, which sealed their place in the last 16 ahead of tomorrow’s third and final group game against Ukraine.

The match was the Berlin-born starlet’s first start for the US, having been a half-time substitute in the 2-1 opening win over Group A minnows Myanmar, and he proceeded to put on a show with rabona and nutmeg passes to go with an assist.

However, Hyndman, who has already made his senior international debut, also impressed for Tab Ramos’ side, becoming the first American to score in consecutive Under-20 World Cup games since Jozy Altidore in 2007.

The team’s midfield engine, he has kept things ticking over in both games with his pinpoint passing, positioning and general all-round influence, and Zelalem has relished their 135 minutes together on the pitch.

Speaking on settling into the side, having been a last-minute call-up upon completing his one-time international switch, the former German Under-17 midfielder said: “I think me and Emerson have combined very well. He’s a pleasure to play with. We’ve played two games but I feel like we’ve play together a year or two.

"And all the other guys, Marky [Delgado] in the midfield – the defensive threat he gives us, and he gives us the ball early and so we try to do our best on the offensive end.”

Despite making just two first-team cameos for Arsenal during his short professional career, Zelalem has been touted as the USA’s future No. 10 ever since he first emerged as a potential option for the States back in 2014, having earned comparisons to ex-Gunners skipper Cesc Fabregas.

However, there is good reason for fans to be just excited about Hyndman’s potential after his rapid progress over the past season and, come the 2018 World Cup in Russia, it would be no surprise to see both him and his Under-20 teammate in the US starting XI.

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