Just like Gold, talented youngsters are quite difficult to find (except you have the kind of Wenger’s eye) and even when they are spotted, the purification process is quite strenuous and requires the proficiency of good coaches to bring the innate qualities of the players out to the surface.
Arsenal has had its fair share of highly talented youngsters from the likes of Nicholas Anelka, Cesc Fabregas, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere (memory fails me here) to this present period where we have Chris Willock, Chuba Akpom, Kristoffer Olsson, Semi Ajayi, Gedion Zelalem and the list continues.
I wouldn’t want to be in Wenger’s shoes right now as the thought process involved in selecting this current crop of youngsters who would go out on loan and those to be integrated into the 1st team could cause migraine to any manager.
Gedion Zelalem, One of the highly rated youngsters amongst the lot and arguably the youngest through-ball specialist of his time, as his first touch, weight and precision of his passes appears to wrapped in silk.
We all saw him firsthand during the Asia pre-season tour against Japanese side Nagoya Grampus when he served a defence splitting pass to Walcott who had no option but to score, he once said that he eats a lot of carrot to improve his eyesight and recently revealed that the 1st team players are now instrumental in his integration into the 1st team.
Speaking to Arsenal player, he said:
“I’m delighted to play with the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Abou Diaby,”
“I grew up watching them, so playing with them is pretty much a dream come true. Hopefully I’ll be able to play with them more.”
“I think about it all the time. In training [sometimes] I’ll zone out thinking, ‘Oh, I’m really training with them’. I don’t think I’ll get used to it! “
“All of them help me – not only the ones that play in my position. Per Mertesacker tells me what to do and it’s just a good environment to be in.”
“They tell me about their experiences, that things will get hard but that you just have to push on. It’s good.”
Zelalem was impressive against Boreham wood and he would be hoping to break into the 1st team this season, the likes of Wilshere should better watch out cause this lad is ready to take the place of any midfielder who is caught napping on duty.