MLS officially announced that Sporting Kansas City have acquired the talents of Gedion Zelalem from Arsenal.
The German-born American was hypothesised as one of the US’ hottest prospects after thriving at youth level for Olney Rangers, before making the trip overseas to join Arsenal.
The crafty midfielder struggled to crack the first team, having only managed six appearances for the club across all competitions. He accrued experience on loan at Scottish outfit Rangers FC and VVV-Venlo in the Netherlands.
So, what does he actually bring to Sporting Kansas City?
Well, first of all, he brings with him a wealth of knowledge of the game, despite only being 22 years old. Let’s not forget that he has accumulated experience at a majority of levels in global football and has only improved since 2014, the year he went pro. This will serve him well in US domestic soccer, given that he possesses the ability to adapt his style to different styles of football.
Zelalem boasts excellent football IQ, opting to find the right pass over the flashy one more often than not. He likes to collect the ball early just outside of his own half and drive his team forward, emphasising a desire to attack from the once he has received the ball.
SKC’s sporting manager and director Peter Vermes expressed his delight over the transfer in today’s press conference. “Gedion is a talented player and we are excited to welcome him to the club,”
He added, “We look forward to his integration into the squad as the team competes in multiple competitions throughout the season.”
The deal, set to be around two years in length, has club options for both 2020 and 2021.
Ultimately, I think the addition of the young midfield dynamo will be welcomed by both parties. Sporting Kansas City get to add a significant piece to their youthful, yet experienced, roster whilst Arsenal get a token return for a player whose chances of surpassing his counterparts and entering the first team were slim at best.