THE BIG CROSS ROADS FOR ARSENAL YOUNGSTERS

As a young footballer all you want to do is to play football and enjoy what you like doing. Many things don’t cross your mind but as you grow older, may things start happening and many decisions have to be made, one of those decisions is what national team to represent. This year, we have some great group of young and talented footballers, Gnabry just came off from a jaw dropping performance in the North London Derby would surely be more involved in the team in Theo’s absence, Gedion Zelalem is playing very well, did very well in pre-season, has exceptional passing vision, Chuba Akpom is proving his critics wrong every day and is doing well, then Daniel Crowley is making everyone take notice.

Gooner of Steel takes a look at some of our youngsters and shows that not only clubs are fighting for them but countries

SERGE GNABRY

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Exceptionally gifted player, can play in varieties of positions from central midfield to attacking midfield, on both wings and even as a striker. His ability to take on opponents is a rare trait in most young players. He also has a very good passing range and is certainly a big star for the future.

He was in Germany and has an Ivorian father and is eligible to play for the Ivory Coast, he is also eligible to play for Germany as he has represented them in youth levels so many times; maybe if he stays more than 5 years in the UK, the English might also want to have him too.

Recently, Germany coach Loew hinted that Serge might get a call up to the national team and when you consider the wealth of experience and talent  in Germany, a call up for Serge would be awesome. The Ivorian Federation has also had an approach of their own. It was alleged that they promised him a spot of their World cup squad if the young sensation decides to play for them. It would surely be a tough choice for Serge.

GEDION ZELALEM

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From the day I heard we had signed a talented teenager from the United States, I have always taken notice of this gem of a player. He is surely developing into something special and his partnership with Daniel Crowley in the youth team is eye catching, really eye catching.

This exceptional teenager was born to an Ethiopian Father and a German mother. In 2006, he migrated to the USA with his family and thus based on residency regulations, he is an American too. That means Gedion could play for three countries, Ethiopia, Germany, United States of America and could make it four, if you add England ( after 5 years). It is a big dilemma for Gedion.

He has been capped for the youth set ups of Germany and thus you would make Germany as favourites to get him. Also, the Ethiopian Sports minister was said to have made a public plea to the teenager on social media to choose the country of his father’s birth, Ethiopia. The Americans are not letting him pass by their hands too, there has been very public pleas from many sports journalist for the young man to choose the country at the other side of the Atlantic.

CHUBA AKPOM, CHUKS ANEKE

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Both players are born to Nigerian parents in the UK. Chuba is growing into a super talent and his impressive showing for the youth team in recent weeks has not gone unnoticed. Also Aneke might be on loan at Crewe, but he is surely someone to watch out for. He did very well when he was called upon in pre-season and if he keeps his head down, might grow into a midfielder in the class of Vieira or Yaya Toure. Both of them have represented England at youth level but are still eligible for Nigeria.

Many of my readers might say it is too early to raise this issue up, but I think that it is an issue that must be discussed now. There are many teenagers that are getting capped for their national teams and it would not be out of place if any of these stars are called up by their national team coaches.

The issue of a right choice in national teams is very important, Aston Villa forward, Gabby Agbonlahor was courted by the Nigeria FA for a long time, instead he opted to play for England, a couple of caps and that is it. I doubt if he would get a look in again. Wilfred Zaha was told to choose Ivory Coast instead of England, the young man chose England and still has one cap to his name and the way he is going, it would take something special for him to get another. Nigerian Victor Moses chose Nigeria instead of England and in his first international outing, won the Africa Nations Cup. I could go on and on about mistakes and right choices that have been made by players concerning national team choice and how it has affected their career.

The bottom line is these young sensations should focus primarily on developing themselves but should have this issue at the back of their minds and like Jenkinson, it is not about the passport but that they have to love playing for whatever team they pick. #getwellsoontheo #COYG

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