Arsenal youngster Gedion Zelalem could go to 2016 Copa America, says US coach Jurgen Klinsmann

Gedion Zelalem

The 19-year-old US Under-23 international has been getting regular playing time on loan at Rangers this season.

US national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has revealed that Arsenal midfielder Gedion Zelalem is in contention to make the squad for the Copa America Centenario in the summer.

Zelalem, 19, has featured for the US Under-20s and Under-23s since switching his international allegiances from Germany last summer after obtaining American citizenship, but he is yet to receive his first senior call-up.

Nevertheless, the Berlin-born teenager has been hailed as one of the team’s building blocks for the future after establishing himself among Arsenal’s top prospects, and Klinsmann even claimed last March that he was skilled enough to walk straight into his full squad.

The former German Under-17 international has since been getting his first extended taste of competitive club football on loan at Rangers this season, and the US manager will continue monitoring his progress over the next few months before determining whether he deserves to go to the 2016 Copa America.

Asked about the chances of Zelalem and fellow American starlet Julian Green making the squad during a Facebook Q&A before last night’s official tournament draw, Klinsmann said: “We definitely monitor both of them. Gedion is right now on loan with Glasgow Rangers and Julian is playing in the second team at Bayern Munich, which is very important because he gets playing time.

“So we are on them and will monitor them. If they will be on the final roster for the Copa America remains to be seen.”

Zelalem has made two senior appearances for Arsenal since joining the club in 2013 and even received comparisons to former Gunners captain Cesc Fabregas while risking through the ranks.

The creative midfielder, who moved to Rangers in August on an initial six-month loan deal which was later extended until the end of the season, has since been showcasing his promise with the Scottish Championship leaders, featuring 21 times across all competitions and recording eight assists in the process.

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