Saturday, 3 January 2015

Zelalem Becomes American

As Americans are finally picking up the pace of the game of Football, there has been some interest from people that side of the Atlantic regarding an Arsenal player who has gained American citizenship and is now eligible to don the garish stars and stars football kit.
Midfielder Gedion Zelalem was born in Germany to two Ethiopian parents and made appearances for Germany at junior level and emigrated to the United States with his father in 2006 where he played for Olney Rangers before Arsenal snapped him up in 2013.
As he has now gained his US citizenship, he can choose between Ethiopia, Germany and the United States when it comes to which country he will represent and it seems that he will be joining with Jurgen Klinnsman's team.
One American fan has asked me if he is better than Altidore of which i reply i bloody hope so but apart from a few minutes at the end of a dead leg against Galatasary, i haven't seen him. 
Of course it is his choice but i am not a fan of players choosing to represent a country they don't really belong to.
When there were rumours that Belgian midfielder, Adnan Januzaj, was considering playing for England as he had been here for five years, Jack Wilshire said that: 'Only English people should play football for England, if you live in England for five years it doesn't make you English'.     
I am in complete agreement with that, if your passport says you are Swedish you play for Sweden, if it says English then you play for England and if it says German you play for Germany, it should be as simple as that.
International football is becoming littered with players representing countries that they were not born in but it appears this is the way it is going although Lennox Lewis and Greg Rusedki found out, their new passport may say one thing but it doesn't necessarily mean that they will be as accepted as someone born and bred in that country.
Zelalem is considered a good prospect playing out on the wing and there are hopes that he can be made into a striker but along with passports, football is also littered with former prospects who for one reason or another fall short and Arsenal have taken on and sold more than their fair share of them over the years so how good Zelalem is we will have to wait and see but if he turns out to be another Altidore, then Tottenham can have him.

1 comment:

Keep Life Simple said...

agreed to be on the American team you should be born here, at the very least release you other citizenships...