Daily Archives: May 5, 2023
Reiss Nelson joined the Arsenal Hale End Academy when he was just nine years old, and grew through the youth ranks before making his debut as an 18-year-old in the Community Shield win against Chelsea in 2017. His first major stint with competitive football came through when Arsenal sent him out on loan to Hoffenheim and he showed great potential, scoring seven goals in 29 appearances. Following the successful loan stint, Nelson got his breakthrough under Unai Emery and featured consistently for Arsenal, despite a lot of injury struggles.
However, minutes came hard to come by under Mikel Arteta, even though he was one of the gaffer’s favored attacking substitutes. Due to the paucity of game time, Nelson moved to Feyernoord and helped them to a UEFA Conference League finals against Roma as well as a third place finish in the EreDivisie last season.
This season, Nelson has been on the doldrums with Arteta trusting certain players on a consistent basis, but he has managed to see a handful of minutes, scoring a brace and supplying an assist as a substitute in the 5-0 drubbing of Nottingham Forest, and more famously, scoring that last-minute winner against Bournemouth in March 2023. With four games left for Arsenal to play before the campaign ends, Nelson still has a role to play for the team but the question remains whether he wants to remain with the club for the foreseeable future, as it has been widely reported that the winger has rejected a contract extension offer from Arsenal.
Looking at it from an objective perspective, you can understand if Reiss Nelson doesn’t want to extend his stay at the club, as he has been at the periphery at Arsenal for the entirety of his career in the club. In seven seasons with Arsenal, he has played only 63 games for the club. There are also whispers that Brighton are interested in signing Nelson, and from what we have watched this season, it would be an exciting prospect to work with someone like Roberto de Zerbi. With his contract expiring at the end of the season like Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Nelson can leave Arsenal for nothing, and at 23 years of age, his best years are way ahead of him.
I will expect Mikel Arteta to try and entice him like he did with Eddie Nketiah, but if Nelson leaves, I don’t see us batting an eyelid in regret. His exit, with probably the imminent exit of Nicolas Pepe will make the Gunners delve into the transfer market to purchase a winger that can serve as a dependable backup to Bukayo Saka, since Leandro Trossard and Emile Smith-Rowe can do a job on the left in Gabriel Martinelli’s stead.
I wish Nelson the best in his future endeavors, and I trust he would do what’s best for himself and his family, even though it might mean pursuing a career outside North London.
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