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Gedion Zelalem shines for Arsenal U-21's, picks up nice assist

Jordan Mansfield

Gedion Zelalem still doesn't have United States citizenship, but it is becoming more and more clear why Jurgen Klinsmann wants him to get it and then suit up for the Americans so badly. The Arsenal product is a very, very good player.

That was on display again when the Arsenal U-21's took on Aston VIlla's U-21's. Zelalam was brilliant, according to reports, threatening the Villa defense repeatedly. And he picked up an assist too, sliding a delicious through ball in to put his teammate in on goal.

Arsenal won the match, 2-0, and the 17-year-old drew rave reviews. Arsene Wenger has said that, best scenario, Zelalem might make the first team late in the season, but more realistically, he's looking at getting into the team next season. 18 years old and playing for Arsenal isn't too bad, if he can pull it off.

Gedion's U.S. citizenship situation is unchanged. While there was a report in the spring that his father was on the verge of citizenship, which would make Zelalem eligible for citizenship, it does not appear as if that process has been completed yet. Time is also running shot, as Zelalem's father, and then Zelalem, would have to get citizenship before the player's 18th birthday, which is on January 26. If he does not have citizenship by the time he turns 18, he cannot apply for it through his father and, because he does not live in the U.S. for the majority of the time, would find it very difficult to get citizenship another way.

If Zelalem doesn't play for the U.S. -- by choice or by lack of citizenship -- he will likely join up with the Germany program, which he has done before.