Sporting Kansas City Signs U.S. International Midfielder Gedion Zelalem

Gedion Zelalem. Photo by Kieran Galvin/REX/Shutterstock (5953114b)

Sporting Kansas City announced on Monday that they have signed former U.S. youth international midfielder Gedion Zelalem from Premier League side Arsenal. Zelalem will join Sporting KC on one year deal which has a team option for 2020 and 2021.

The deal was confirmed on the team’s official social media.

“Gedion is a talented player, and we are excited to welcome him to the club,” – said Sporting KC manager and sporting director Peter Vermes in a statement. “We look forward to his integration into the squad as the team competes in multiple competitions throughout the season.”

Gedion Zelalem spent his early career in Arsenal’s youth academy and made his professional debut in 2014 in FA Cup. He never managed to break into the first team and had loan stints with Scottish side Rangers and Netherland’s VVV-Venlo. The 22-year-old spent 2018 with Arsenal but didn’t make any appearances.

“I’m really excited to have this opportunity. The league is growing, and a lot of players have hit me up saying, ‘I want to come to the league, it looks like a good league.’ I can’t wait to play,” – Zelalem told ESPN. “I just spoke to [Vermes]. We were just talking about formations and where he sees me. He sees me in the midfield, in any of the three [positions] really. He just told me to be patient at first, and they’ll assess how my fitness is at the moment, and they’ll go based on that.”

Born in Germany, Zelalem played for country’s youth teams before changing his international allegiance and debuting for United States U20 in 2015. He also made five appearances for United States U23 but never made a first-team debut.