KENYA BROWN - Tuesday, January 24, 2017
US youth international Gedion Zelalem will be looking to further his development as Arsenal has agreed to send him out on loan to Dutch Eerste Divisie team VVV Venlo.
In addition to the deal, Zelalem has signed a contract extension with the Gunners.
Reports first came out through the Dutch press on Monday that the 19-year-old would possibly be heading to the Netherlands, but approval for the move depended on Arsenal head coach Arsene Wenger. It was also reported that Zelalem and Arsenal officials were in the stands at the weekend to watch Venlo.
The German-born Zelalem found it hard to break into the star-studded midfield at the Emirates Stadium this season as he only played in two games - both in EFL Cup games against Nottingham Forest and Reading.
There was speculation earlier in the transfer window that Zelalem would move to German Bundesliga team Borussia Dortmund. However, BVB head coach Thomas Tuchel shot down that story, saying Dortmund would not be making any signings.
This is the second loan move for the youngster as he was loaned last season to then Scottish Championship team Rangers FC - one that was successful as he helped them gain promotion to the Premier League.
Some have questioned Arsenal allowing Zelalem to move to the Dutch second division because of the quality of the teams in the league but Venlo is currently atop the standings with 47 points.
Venlo has had some well-known players such as Japanese international Keisuke Honda and former US national team player Earnie Stewart.
Zelalem could make his first appearance for the team when they take on Top Oss on Saturday.