Rangers loanee Gedion Zelalem explains why he stayed at Ibrox

Rangers have retained the services of Zelalem until the end of the season.

Speaking to the Evening Times, Gedion Zelalem has explained why he wanted to stay with Rangers until the end of the season, rather than ending his loan deal this month.

Zelalem said: “I wanted to stay and help Rangers get promoted to the top division and improve my game – those two are the main targets for me. I am getting regular game time which is important to me as a young player. Ideally I’d go back to Arsenal in the summer and break through into the first team, the same as Hector Bellerin, who’s done fantastically and is now established as the number one right back, so that is my target.”

Zelalem arrived at Rangers last summer with the reputation as one of the best talents in world football, with the Arsenal coaching staff rating him extremely highly.

There were no doubts about his technical abilities, but many questioned whether the 18-year-old midfielder would be able to deal with the physical nature of senior football - especially that in the Scottish Championship.

Zelalem has so far exceeded expectations, playing 17 games, and registering an impressive tally of eight assists.

There were rumours he would be heading back to Arsenal this month, with his loan deal originally set to expire in January, but Zelalem and the Gunners agreed to stay with the Gers until the end of the campaign.

The youngster has admitted that wanting to get Rangers promoted to the Premiership was one of the main reasons that he stayed, as well as the ability to play consistently and continue to improve his game.

Zelalem has already shown development since signing with the Gers, and he is sure to keep getting better and better under the tutelage of Mark Warburton at Ibrox.

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