Arsenal Under-20 international Gedion Zelalem has suffered a knee injury while playing for the US National Team in the ongoing Fifa U-20 World Cup and has been ruled out of the tournament.
He was substituted in the 34th minute of USA's opening game against Ecuador and Goal reports that he has torn his anterior cruciate ligament, which will rule him out for six to nine months. The US international was among the best prospects in the Arsenal youth setup but has failed to properly live up to his promise until date and was sent on a season-long loan to Dutch second division side VVV Venlo, where he has struggled to get into the team on a regular basis.
The 20-year-old's contract with the Gunners expires at the end of next season and the Under-20 World Cup was an opportunity for him to portray his worth and extend his contract or push for a move elsewhere.
USA U-20 coach Tab Ramos cited his disappointment in the injury. "For Gedion, this was his second U-20 World Cup so his experience was invaluable for us," Ramos told US Soccer. "His passing ability is second to none in this tournament and we'll miss that. He was running the team from his position. Having said that, I believe in the players we have here and we've already seen what Derrick Jones can do. We are confident that the team is ready for the next challenge."
Zelalem will consult the medical staff at Arsenal and the US Soccer medical team to plan his recovery, with the player all but ruled out for the year. This will be a moment of massive disappointment for the youngster, having only just returned to the national team after making his last appearance on 10 October 2016, in the Four Nations Tournament in Rochdale.