Ex-Celtic boss Liam Brady has discussed Gedion Zelalem’s loan deal to Rangers with the Evening Times, claiming it will toughen him up and help the young midfielder come to terms with the physicality of senior football.
Brady said: “It will toughen him up. He will learn how to cope with the physicality of playing against men and I think that is one of the main advantages to him going to Rangers. There are question marks that exist about all the players that you send on loan. That is why they are going on loan to see how they get on, but we rate him very highly at Arsenal.”
Brady is head of youth development at Arsenal, and it was the former Celtic boss who signed Zelalem for the Gunners back in 2013.
He has already been given first-team chances by Arsene Wenger, and is considered one of the best prospects in world football right now.
However, there are doubts about the 18-year-old, with most of them centred on his physicality and lack of adaptability for senior football.
Leaving youth football for the Scottish Championship will do much to prove whether Zelalem has enough to make it as a senior player, especially as he will be required to bulk up quickly to adapt to the second tier.
The young midfielder has already shown off his technical attributes under Mark Warburton, registering three assists in there games for the Gers, and if he can start to truly adapt to the rigours of senior football, Zelalem may just make the step up at Arsenal next season.