New York City FC today announced the Club has signed midfielder Gedion Zelalem.
The 22 year-old is a versatile central midfielder and spent the 2019 season at fellow MLS club, Sporting Kansas City, and their USL Championship side, Swope Park Rangers.
The former Germany and United States youth international has also played for Arsenal FC, Rangers FC and VVV-Venlo in his career.
Zelalem said: “I’m really excited to be joining New York City FC. The Club has established a culture and style of play that I’m really looking forward to being a part of. I know they had a great season last year and the team will only go upwards from there. It’s also a great city to live in, but mostly I’m ready to win a lot of soccer matches in 2020.”
He joined Arsenal as a 16 year-old in 2013 and spent six seasons with the Premier League club. Zelalem made his debut in 2014 during an FA Cup win over Coventry City. He went on to make four total appearances for Arsenal’s first team including a substitute role in a UEFA Champions League match against Galatasaray.
Rangers acquired Zelalem on-loan from Arsenal in 2015. The midfielder played 28 matches and had eight assists as he helped the Scottish club win promotion back to the Scottish Premiership.
Zelalem was loaned to Dutch side VVV-Venlo in January of 2017, where he played nine times and once again won silverware as VVV finished in first place in the 2016-2017 Eerste Divisie.
NYCFC Head Coach, Ronny Deila, said: “Gedion is a very versatile midfielder who can play across multiple positions. He’s a creative player and possesses very good technique on the ball which is vital for a midfielder in our system. He’s eager to begin this preseason and we’re ready for him to get into camp and show off who he is as a player.”
Though born in Berlin, Germany, Zelalem moved to the United States and settled in the Washington D.C area. While there, he played for the Olney Rangers under the tutelage of NYCFC U-19 Head Coach Matt Pilkington.
NYCFC Sporting Director, David Lee, said: “We’re really excited that Gedion is joining us ahead of the 2020 season. Even though he’s still in the early portion of his career, he’s gained really valuable experience at multiple clubs across a few different leagues. He’s also represented the U.S. youth national team in two World Cups and we think
we’ve identified a very talented player who can come in and develop with us and improve our squad.”
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