Arsenal have welcomed one of their most promising young talents back as he prepares to speed up his recovery in time for a return next year.
Gedion Zelalem will link up with the rest of the squad at London Colney later this week in order to begin the next stage of his rehabilitation after he tore a cruciate-ligament in his knee.
Football London’s Charles Watts reports that Zelalem is in good spirits and is targeting an earlier return than was originally planned when he suffered a horror injury earlier this year.
The 20-year-old picked up the problem whilst on duty for USA U20’s and was told it would be at least nine months before he could think about pulling on a shirt again.
But with the advances in technology at Arsenal’s training ground and age on his side, Zelalem is hopeful of seeing out the campaign with at least a few appearances for the U23’s.
Recognised as one of Arsenal’s talented youngsters, Zelalem has impressed Wenger on previous occasions but with his contract running out next summer, it’s too soon to say whether or not he’ll be rewarded with a new deal.
After spending the second half of last season on loan with Dutch side VVV Venlo, many felt his chance to get a place in the first team had been and gone.
However, with the likes of Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere set to be leaving at the end of the campaign, it could open up a spot if Wenger wanted to integrate another youngster.
Zelalem has already started to take part in running exercises and is likely to move on to a lot more gym work in his hopes of reducing his time on the sidelines.