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'Playing alongside Ramsey is a dream'

Gedion Zelalem admits he cannot believe that he is playing alongside the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Abou Diaby.

The 17-year-old played the first 45 minutes of Arsenal’s pre-season friendly at Boreham Wood on Saturday, and impressed with a composed display.

The midfielder was satisfied with his performance but says he is still coming to terms with the fact that he is part of the first-team squad.

“I'm delighted to play with the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Abou Diaby,” Zelalem told Arsenal Player. “I grew up watching them, so playing with them is pretty much a dream come true. Hopefully I'll be able to play with them more.

“I think about it all the time. In training [sometimes] I'll zone out thinking, ‘Oh, I'm really training with them'. I don't think I'll get used to it!

“All of them help me - not only the ones that play in my position. Per Mertesacker tells me what to do and it's just a good environment to be in.

“They tell me about their experiences, that things will get hard but that you just have to push on. It's good.”

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