Gedion Zelalem debut: the verdict

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When Mark Warburton’s Rangers side was confirmed tonight, it was verified what this site claimed earlier today, with a debut for Arsenal’s on-loan youngster Gedion Zelalem.

With hopes high for the US youth star at a mere 18 years old, how would he cope with the pressure of a ‘wet and windy Airdrie on a Wednesday night’?

Well to say this was a man of the match performance barely does it justice; he was the youngest player on the pitch, but played with the maturity of someone 10 years older.

Zelalem completely dictated the middle of the park, with his colleagues trusting him implicitly despite his youth, and the teenager jinked, dribbled, passed, swayed and linked with everyone around him.

Rangers finally have a proper deep-lying playmaker, a player who can put his foot on the ball, slow things down, speed them up, and protect the ball while picking out the right pass.

His assist for striker Martin Waghorn’s goal and Rangers’ second was quite simply sumptuous.

If it was not for Gedion, the excellent Oduwa would have been a major shout for the accolade of the match’s finest performer instead, but Zelalem completely stole the show. The only thing missing was a goal, but it did not matter as his team mates provided five regardless.

This kid has all the ability to go every inch in the game. He is 18, yet completely dominated a match filled with senior professionals – he made Airdrie look pathetic, and the first 30 minutes domination of the ball with Zelalem as the fulcrum saw 90% possession for the visitors.

In truth, once the third went in, most players took their feet off the gas, knowing the match was already won, but that lull in play in the second half did not take the gloss off the new recruit’s display.

Warburton really has proven he is magic by managing to secure this lad from London at Ibrox, and to say Rangers finally have someone they can trust to dominate the middle of the pitch is nothing short of a serious relief.

Whether Gedion Zelalem goes all the way in the sport to the highest levels remains to be seen – he has the tools, and while he has admitted the Arsenal first team is his target, on this display, he will easily be a future Gunner staple.

Unless Warburton can somehow persuade him to stay. He is magic, after all.

16 COMMENTS

  1. You's are lucky to have him. He has been top top class for a while now and the way you describe him dominating midfield is exactly how I know him.

    Your gain is my loss, as he will not now play on Friday for our u21s, and I have tickets for that one 🙂

    Anyways best of luck, and look after him, so no deep fried fu**ing Mars bars

  2. looks really good but we will have to see him against better teams ,well done it was just like a practice game ,but the result is the main thing.WATP

  3. Superb display from the young lad he will be looked after and could possibly be in Glasgow for longer than antisepated if he keeps maturing at this rate

  4. I cant wait to see him against better teams he does look the biz & hopefully him & Oduwa will keep a muppet or 2 outta the team,Its amazing where we are now compared to last year, Happy days

  5. Technically very talented, great transition between composed and urgent play. I hope we give him a good run of games, our young lot could learn a trick or two from him and Oduwa

  6. Somebody on the rumours page said Stevie May was at the match lastnight, I'd say it was 99% bullshit, anyone see him?

  7. Zelalem had a great debut last night and will get better the more games he plays, he can see a move ahead of most others, he won't score a lot of goals , but will create numerous chances, let's not forget Halliday who also had a great game, the engine room is looking good.

  8. Anyone, bluenose or not, will admit its a totally different side to last season's, in more ways than one..remember, many are at Ibrox on loan, we have to nurture the youth side of things, too, we can't sit back and say "OK, that'll do" , and then have few options once the loanees depart. Its nice to see a team in blue that gels (despite some pub league uncertainties at the back, that make me cringe), but I'm already thinking about next May.

  9. PS, to SharkeySure, good idea, no deep fried Mars bars, an' off the fish n chips as well.. Thank you, Woolwich Wonders . .

  10. I had the dubious privalege of watching Gedion tear apart the New Zealand side in the recent U20 World Cup. He completely dominated the match.
    That evening I cringed but now am proud that he's wearing a Rangers strip.
    Hopefully he will want to remain after the loan spell!

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