DESPITE the club’s well-documented issues over the last few years, just the mention of the name ‘Rangers’ was enough to make Gedion Zelalem sit up and take notice.
The 18 year-old today became the 10th signing of an incredible summer transfer window at Rangers, and after completing his medical and tying up the final details on his contract, he sat down to speak exclusively to RangersTV.tv.
He began by explaining: “This is a great opportunity for me at a massive club. I was at the Hibernian game and the fans were incredible, so I’m looking forward to playing here.
“Playing in front of 50,000 fans will replicate what it will be like at Arsenal, and the media spotlight is also similar.
“The manager wants to play great football too, and they were all factors in my decision to come here.
“Everyone knows the name ‘Glasgow Rangers’ so right away I was interested.”
Having taken in yesterday’s clash with Hibernian at Ibrox as a spectator, Zelalem joined his new teammates for training at Auchenhowie this morning, and it didn’t take him long to settle into a new routine.
He continued: “The training is similar to what we do at Arsenal – everything is on the ground with possession-based stuff, so I’m getting used to it very quickly.
“The manager trusts young players – and you saw that in his time at Brentford. Jon Toral was on loan there last year, and he also plays for Arsenal, so I spoke to him and he had nothing but great things to say about the manager.
“Before I came, I had a look at the facilities the club has and they looked incredible, but you’re never sure until you are actually there.
“It’s definitely Champions League level though.”
Zelalem could hardly have picked a better game for his first visit to Ibrox than yesterday’s sold-out and raucous triumph over Hibs, and the young American was thoroughly impressed with what his new surroundings are like.
He added: “The supporters were magnificent. They didn’t stop singing for the full game and they really pushed the team on to get the win.”