Arsenal midfielder Gedion Zelalem has become a United States citizen and plans to commit to U.S. soccer, reports the Washington Post.
According to the report, Zelalem was in Washington on Monday to finalize the naturalization process and now just needs FIFA approval, which is believed to be “a perfunctory exercise.”
Becoming a U.S. citizen would allow the 17-year-old to play for the U.S., Germany (where he was born) or Ethiopia (his family’s homeland), but he has told American officials that he will play for the U.S., according to the Post.
Ever since news broke that Gedion’s father was applying for US citizenship the USMNT fans have been on the edge of their seat. Anyone with a brain can see why. Not only is he an exceptional talent but the French Maestro himself, Arsene Wenger, has revealed he has ‘high expectations’ for the young midfielder. I don’t think Arsene has said anything like that about any other US talent so it is definitely a cause to get excited. Expectations must be tempered though because he is only 17 and needs more time to develop. However, if this report is true then this is yet another coup for Jurgen Klinsmann when it comes to convincing dual-US citizens to commit their future to the USMNT.