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Rangers want Gedion Zelalem to stay for full season

Gedion Zelalem Rangers 21

Gedion Zelalem’s time with Rangers might last longer than originally planned.

Zelalem joined Rangers via a loan from Arsenal this past summer in search of first-team minutes, and his solid form for the second division Scottish side has the two clubs discussing a potential extension that would run until the end of the season. The 18-year-old midfielder is currently set to rejoin Arsenal in January, but Rangers is keen on keep him on board as it attempts to secure promotion to the top flight once again.

“So far, we are in good shape. The feedback from Arsenal has been very positive,” Rangers manager Mark Warburton told “He is speaking to his family and, hopefully, we are closing to securing him. The current deal is until January, but, as long as everyone is happy, we will extend that.

“I have been delighted with his contribution and the last game he played for Rangers was his best so far. We have a great relationship with Arsenal and our job is to make sure they know their asset is being developed properly.”

A member of the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team and one of the brightest prospects in the U.S. pipeline, Zelalem has been a regular contributor for Rangers this season. He has started eight of the nine games he has appeared in thus far, helping the club sit in first place and in sole possession of the automatic promotion spot in the Scottish Championship.

What do you think of Rangers potentially keeping Zelalem until the end of the season? Is it a good move for all parties involved? Would you prefer Zelalem go on loan to a tougher league during the second half of the campaign or is Rangers a good fit right now?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Rangers still face serious financial issues. British courts recently ruled on appeal against a number of Ranger’s court wins. Rangers attempted a massive tax dodge and got busted. There are only a few levels of appeal left, and if Rangers has to come up with the sterling, it will be the end for Rangers FC.

  2. He’s looked really good for the 5 or so rangers games I’ve seen. On fox soccer plus rangers games generally come on Monday or Friday in-between reruns of uefa matches … He has looked a bit easy to knock off the ball. It happened a few times where the opposition were building up momentum he dropped back to collect the ball and passed it around to slow the game down . it impressed me. He’s not a attacking midfielder from what I’ve seen. He plays very calmly very deliberate. Good build up . smart reads of the game. Not much bad to say other than again has looked easy to disposses

  3. Francois, can you communicate that to the whole USA Program? Wow, movement on and off the ball is a forgotten art among the different levels of the USA Soccer Program.

    • You’re not lying! It’s unreal to me that our coaches still seem to be lost when it comes to teaching it. You can have all the technical ability and touch in the world, but if you have no movement, you have nothing.

    • Absolutely spot on. “When you play a match, it is statistically proven that players actually have the ball 3 minutes on average … So, the most important thing is: what do you do during those 87 minutes when you do not have the ball. That is what determines whether you’re a good player or not.”-Johan Cruyff

      Good off the ball movement is one of the most crucial traits a player could possibly learn, and we ignore it completely. Its what good, deliberate plays are built on. Without it, you just have happy accidents.

    • I’ve watched all of Zelalem’s games with RangersFC. He plays centrally alongside Jason Holt, a mobile box-to-box MF, and is generally a holding MF that likes to pivot and pass. He thrives off of combination play that releases him in the attacking third to make a final pass. Some of his faults have been visible also in international play: lingering on the ball, going missing for stretches without the ball, lack of defensive bite, no hustle/speed.

      I’m not sure how he fits into the US setup to be honest. He definitely is a defensive liability at the international level, which is why he has been miscast as a CAM. He has only made an impact with a fairly mobile U-20 team, and when he drops deep for the U-23s where he has some cover. It’s not that he can’t take the pressure – he can avoid a defender like nothing else, with his body movement and quick release. He just absolutely does not defend hard enough.

      You can see that he needs to develop more. Rangers FC is the best place for him to do that. He is not exactly dominating in the Championship, but you can see that his ideas are from beyond. Since he is only 18, I say let him stay and become part of the generation that brings Rangers back to the top flight.

  4. I don’t think he has looked all that good when he has played youth international games, so the Scottish 2nd division must not be too tough. In that case, I’d like to see him go to the English Championship if he can get minutes there.

    • You have to remember: Midfielders need people to move off the ball in order to be effective or look good. If you have nobody moving to receive a pass, and you’re getting double-teamed in the middle of the field, you’re not going to look good.


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