Sporting Kansas City is adding 22-year-old USMNT and Arsenal midfielder Gedion Zelalem on a transfer, according to multiple reports.
Sam McDowell of the Kansas City Star also reported the move. According to his report, his current contract will run through the end of 2019 with team options for 2020 and 2021. Also, the move doesn’t include a transfer fee.
This move had been rumored for the past couple of months.
Zelalem, at one point, seemed destined to be a fixture with the US National Team, especially after rising from the Arsenal youth teams to the senior team in 2014. He also starred for the US u-20 and u-23 teams. Injuries, however, have derailed his career and kept him from obtaining consistent playing time enough to earn a spot in the Arsenal senior team. He’s only appeared in 41 matches—whether for Arsenal or on loan out to Rangers (Scotland) VVV-Venlo (Netherlands)—over the past five years.
He’s a versatile midfielder who can play all positions, although he typically is more of a central midfielder. As for where he fits in the team right now, his position is filled at the senior level with the likes of Felipe Gutierrez, Roger Espinoza, Ilie Sanchez, Yohan Croizet, and Kelyn Rowe on the team, not to mention the youngsters in Gianluca Busio and Wan Kuzain, however Busio might be on the top of many team’s transfers lists.
Instead he can rehab his career with plenty of playing time with the Swope Park Rangers with an eye toward the future, especially as Roger Espinoza gets older. The option years are highly beneficial to the club as they can essentially treat this move as a “prove it” period for Zelalem, where the rewards could be huge.