[VIDEO PICK: Magic Feet] Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger promised his usually thrifty Gunners were going to open the checkbook this summer, which hasn’t happened, but 16-year-old Gedion Zelalem's breakthrough performances on the club's preseason tour has provided reason for optimism.
Zelalem, who played for Germany’s U-16 team, is of Ethiopian descent, but he also trained with the U.S. U-15 national team after in 2006 moving to Washington, D.C., where he played with the Olney Rangers. His coach, Matt Pilkington, brought Gedion to the attention of Arsenal’s North American scout, Danny Karbassiyoon, which is how he got to London.
With a quiet soccer summer in Europe, the attention on Zelalem has exploded on the midfielder after just three games in Asia. Comparisons to Cesc Fabregas and Michael Laudrup have already cropped up, but it remains to be seen if he’ll be on the first team this fall, when Arsenal begins its quest for fourth place in the EPL once more.
He displays great poise, technical ability and his vision on through balls is incredible at any age, which is the focus of this video. All these passes came in 135 minutes of play …