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Ethiopia court Arsenal youngster Zelalem

Ethiopia are hopeful Arsenal's German-born midfielder Gedion Zelalem will choose to play for them, reports BBC Sport. The 16-year-old is eligible to play for Germany, Ethiopia - where his father was born - or the United States.

After Ethiopia's 2-1 defeat by Nigeria in an African World Cup play-off first leg on Sunday, Zelalem wrote on social media site Twitter: "Still proud."

In response, Ethiopian foreign minister Adhanom Tedros wrote: "Hi Gedion... we hope you will play for Ethiopia soon."

Ethiopia are understandably keen for the highly-rated youngster to pledge allegiance to the Walyas but coach Sewnet Bishaw told Reuters he would not contact the player personally.

"If he decides to play for Ethiopia and asks us, then things will be easy," said Bishaw.

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Dave Williams

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