By Chris Harris in New York
Arsène Wenger says Gedion Zelalem has all the attributes to become a top-level player - and will get a chance to shine in New York on Saturday.
The 17-year-old has turned heads since he joined Arsenal in January 2013. He produced two eye-catching assists on last summer's Asia tour and in January became the first player selected for Wenger's first team who was born after the Frenchman took charge.
Thierry Henry praised Zelalem ahead of this weekend's friendly between New York Red Bulls and Arsenal, and Wenger has equally high expectations of the teenager. But the manager knows that talent only takes a player so far.
He is a creative player and he can create a spark, an opening with his passing, his vision through the linesWenger on Zelalem
"I honestly think Gedion has the talent to become a great player, but that will be decided in the next two or three years because he has to show that he has the mental level required to be a top-level competitor," said Wenger.
"He is a creative player and he can create a spark, an opening with his passing, his vision through the lines. If he manages to develop his physique and keep his qualities, he can be a very important player. Let’s hope he will do it.
"I believe he is a very young, promising talent who was educated here [in the United States]. Today it is too early for him to play for us but I would say in one year we will know more about him. Maybe if it all goes well, in six months.
"Just now he is not ready to start in the Premier League, but he is with us and practises with us a lot and we have high expectations for him. He will play on Saturday."Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 24 Jul 2014