With age comes experience and added responsibility.
It’s a maxim that Gedion Zelalem - fresh from winning last season’s Scottish Championship during a loan spell with Rangers - is all too aware of.
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“[Going to Rangers] definitely matured me,” he told Arsenal.com. “I know what to do and I’m more experienced on the field. I’m one the of the older boys now, so it’s quite weird, because I was always used to being one of the young ones.
“There’s more responsibility now I think. The [younger players] look up to you. You’ve got to lead by example and there’s more pressure as well with you being an older one. I like pressure.
"You’ve got to lead by example and there’s more pressure as well with you being an older one. I like pressure."
“I went on tour with the first team, I thought I’d done well and the boss said I’d done well. I’m looking to push for a first-team spot now, so to do that I need to play well and keep my place.”
Zelalem played the full 90 minutes as the under-23s won for the first time this season against Derby County last time out, but the American midfielder is keen for more of the same against Everton on Monday.
“We wanted to get the three points as soon as possible but the performance [against Derby] was good as well,” he said.
“We want to get on a winning streak and perform well. We know we have the ability to do that and the time to do that, we just have to work hard and match our opponents’ work ethic and we can do that.
“Everton have won every game other than the one against Sunderland, but they’re a big, strong side so we’ll have to be on our game. We need to move the ball quickly and use our ability and if we match their work ethic, I think we’ll win.”
For updates from Meadow Park on Monday, follow @Arsenal and stay close to Arsenal.com for post-match reaction. Kick-off is at 7pm (UK time).
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