Arsenal have agreed to sign Olney Soccer Club midfielder Gedion Zelalem, following a trial. The 14-year-old will join the Gunners on his 16th birthday, in January 2013.
Zelalem was put onto Arsenal’s North America scout Danny Karbassiyoon by Olney manager Matt Pilkington last season, and the club have followed up on the tip off by first watching the prospect at the Dallas Cup, then inviting him for a 10 day training stint at London Colney.
Gedion is a German-born Ethiopian, who was part of Hertha Berlin’s academy setup before moving to America five years ago. Arsenal denied an agreement has been reached during an interview with the Washington Post this week, but the player has since confirmed he will move to the Gunners on his 16th birthday.
Zelalem’s German citizenship means Arsenal will not require a work permit for the exciting play maker.