Arsenal send Zelalem on loan to VVV-Venlo

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The highly rated United States youngster is keen to secure first-team football after struggling to earn minutes at the Emirates Stadium this season

Arsenal starlet Gedion Zelalem will spend the rest of the season on loan at Dutch second-division side VVV-Venlo.

The United States Under-23 international has only made one substitute appearance for Arsenal in the EFL Cup this season and has found game time hard to come by despite a number of injuries to Gunners midfielders.

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Zelalem, whose contract expires in 2018, was born in Berlin and played for Hertha’s schoolboy teams before emigrating to America with his father in 2006.

Gedion Zelalem USA 06022015

A composed midfielder with excellent vision, the 19-year-old spent the 2015-16 season on loan at Scottish giants Rangers and contributed eight assists in 28 games to help them to promotion back to the Premiership.

"He might be a bit longer to mature because he is a little bit behind on the body structure," Wenger said of Zelalem in the summer. "But I’m sure he will be a great player who matures maybe a bit slowly physically.

"But overall, I’m convinced that he’ll have a great career."

Arsenal’s academy manager Andries Jonker has used already his Dutch connections to the club's benefit several times this season, and was involved in setting up the loans of Kelechi Nwakali and Stefan O’Connor to MVV Maastricht.

It is also expected that Chuba Akpom will be sent out on loan for the rest of the season after Arsenal received an offer from Championship side Aston Villa.

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VVV are currently top of the Jupiler League and looking to secure promotion to the Eredivisie.

They currently hold a seven-point advantage over Ajax's reserve team - who cannot be promoted to the top flight - and Nwakali and O'Connor's side MVV, who they defeated 2-1 last weekend.

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