Gedion Zelalen
Gedion Zelalen has been developing into a star at Arsenal (photo:Twitter)

Arsene Wenger has been impressed with the rapid improvement of youngster Gedion Zelalem during Arsenal's pre-season tour.

Zelalem made his debut for the Gunners' Under 21 side in April and impressed sufficiently to win a place on the club's summer tour to Asia.

And after providing the assist for Theo Walcott's goal in Arsenal's 3-1 win over Nagoya Grampus, Wenger has admitted the German youth international is taking the most of his opportunity.

"He's a young player who develops well," Wenger told Arsenal Player. "Pre-season helps us to give a chance to these players, to get them to realise what it demands to be at the top level.

"He is improving very quickly and he had another appearance, that's good for his development."

Some have compared Zelalem to a young Cesc Fabregas, and should he continue his improvement he could be featuring for the first team earlier than former coach Matt Pilkington originally expected.

Meanwhile, Wenger has been very positive about the club's preparations during their pre-season tour, which has seen Arsenal's youngster and first team players produce encourageing performances in equal measure.

"It [our fitness] is getting better in every game," he explained. "We look quite sharp, we are not yet capable of maintaining that for 90 minutes but that's logical because we are still four weeks before the first game.

"We are on course and we have no big injuries, and that's very positive."