Zelalem hoping to stake his credentials on first day of pre-season

The first batch of Arsenal players will return to London Colney for training tomorrow morning, with each of them possessing different aims for the campaign ahead. One player who will be particularly determined to impress is 16 year old Gedion Zelalem, who enters his first full campaign as an Arsenal player after receiving an unprecedented amount of attention whilst still a schoolboy.

Zelalem featured four times for the U21s towards the end of the campaign, impressing with his ability to weave his way out of the most difficult situations, but will be especially eager to cement his claim for a place on the bench in the Capital One Cup this season.

There have been suggestions that it would be of greater benefit to Zelalem if the Germany U16 international were to start the new season in the U18s, for whom he is yet to make an appearance, but, such is his talent, the midfielder is instead likely to be one of the key players in the U21 set-up, whilst he will also aim to train with the first-team squad as often as possible.

Several of the players who were involved in international fixtures last month will not return until next week, providing the youngsters with an opportunity to train as part of the main group. Chuba Akpom and Isaac Hayden will also be aiming to impress tomorrow as they seek to book a place on the plane for the Asia Tour, whilst Chuks Aneke enters what could be a pivotal few weeks as far as his long-term future at the club is concerned.





  1. The problem is that not only do Arsenal have a TON of 1st team midfielders, but there are also plenty of young players in the middle of the park who are higher up in the order: Frimpong, Yennaris, Chuks, Olsson..
    But hey, why stall in bringing in “The Next Fabregas” to the 1st team

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    1. Massive season for chuks. What is he 20 now? He really needs to make an impression on the first team this season or at the very least a championship team. This may sound strange but I think if we signed fellaini it would really help aneke as I think he is a fellaini type player. He could learn from him in training and would mean the team needing another player like that if fellaini was injuted rested or suspended. Obviously diaby is another player in that mould but with his injuries and him being of a similar age to the big belgian it could be diaby that gets pushed out. Arteta ramsey wilshire cazorla rosicky yennaris coquelin eisfeld and frimpong are all smaller players who would all benefit alongside the likes of fellaini aneke and dare I say it diaby if we could get him out there

      1. Not gonna help if he will spent on loan elsewhere. I would like to see what he can do in the championship. But I think we already have ton on players he can learn from. Like Arteta, Diaby and even Ramsey. I think he should be more ruthless and fight even more for the second ball. Don’t be timid on the pitch.

        I also think Yennaris could be a better choice than Coquelin. Lets see what the preseason says.

  3. atid….difference is chucks is actually a good passer with a range of more than 5 yards….oh and vision…fellaini is a striker

    1. Sorry fellaini is a 2nd striker at best but has said himself many times he like to play the Cm role.

      Agree with jom about yennaris. I think wenger should re-ignite the coquelin as right back idea. His quicker than sagna. Reads the game well can cross a ball and would allow sagna to become a CB which given his recent injury and contract situation I think will sort out one way or the other what happens with sagna.

      Heard a rumour today that wenger is set to offer £12m for richards lescott and barry but man city want £16m or vermaelen and sagna. I hope that is fantasy bullshit.

      1. I prefer Coquelin at right-back than I do in midfield, I think he would excel in that position if he was open to becoming a RB full time. He’s a good midfielder but he can give the ball away under pressure and I don’t think he picks his passes as well as our other options in that position. We need quick, intelligent passing from those areas. Full back makes more of his strengths and less of his weaknesses.

  4. rb – coquelin & jenko
    rcb – mertesacker & sagna
    lcb – koscielny & vermaelen
    lb – gibbs & monreal

    I don’t think there is too much wrong with that line-up, how often do we use more than 8 defenders. if u don’t include league cup and champions league dead rubbers? lets not forget that contrary to belief, arsenal had the 2nd best goals conceded record in the league last season

    it would leave most of the transfer budget to spend on 3 or 4 world class players

    1. Coq and sagna are out of position. Yes Coq can play RB but he has only done so a few times. He is not great in that position. Sagna is not great as CB either and he has only done so a few times. Really I think we need to buy a new great RB and sell Sagna while we can. Coquelin is not really convincing. We shouldn’t take a lot of chances when we are going for the title and rebuilding the team. Only top qualities is needed here. Its not only about the goals conceded because we lost more games than usual last season and was behind from very early and never looked like a champion team. Thats down to defense too.

      Stats are good but what about lost games? I am not convinced Coquelin as RB and Sagna as CB will make us win the PL and CL. Of course a lost is not down to defense only but I am not convinced by Coquelin.

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