Rangers loan star Gedion Zelalem admits Mark Warburton has told him to improve defensively

Celtic V Rangers Reserves

Rangers signed Gedion Zelalem on loan from Arsenal.

The 18-year-old arrived on a season-long loan from Arsenal, and he has told the official Rangers website what Mark Warburton has told him to improve in his game.

Zelalem said: “Mark Warburton has told me I need to work on my defensive game, trying to get up to the ball quicker and tracking my runners – all stuff you have to do at the top level, especially in the Premier League. Arsenal know I am good on the ball and creating chances but they want to see more from me defensively.”

Zelalem is considered to be one of the best young players in world football, and his spell with Rangers this season will give him a full campaign to turn out in competitive senior circles.

The USA youth international has played four games so far for the Gers, creating three goals, but there was never any doubt about his ability as a playmaker.

The only slight doubt about Zelalem's chances of making it in senior football concern his apparent lack of defensive aptitude, as well as his physical build.

A very lightweight midfielder, he is poor when it comes to winning the ball back, and Arsenal sent him to train under Warburton to help him improve on the defensive side of the game.

Playing in a side as dominant as Rangers have been means that Zelalem is not often utilised in a defensive role, but he is already showing slight improvements in his ability to stand up to opponents.

The loan spell with Rangers means that Zelalem is not only playing in a competitive division, but he is facing up against players who may not be the most technical, but are certainly physical.

The Scottish Championship is a division known for its basis as a physical league, and if Zelalem can start to develop into a top defensive talent in that league, he should face no trouble establishing himself as a top level Premier League midfielder in a few years time.

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