“He’s just too sharp, too strong, he doesn’t even allow opponents breath, Arteta has turned him into a very dangerous player”- Skysport pundit was full of praise for fast and agile Arsenal superstar who has massively improved since Mikel Arteta was hired- Not Saka, Not Martinelli and not Saliba
The transformation under Mikel Arteta at Arsenal has been evident in numerous players, but one individual shines brighter in the spotlight of improvement: the dynamic 23-year-old, Reiss Nelson.
A product of the Hale End academy, Nelson showcased his excellence once again in Arsenal’s recent encounter with PSV Eindhoven, leaving a lasting impact even when coming off the bench. While he hasn’t always secured a spot in the starting lineup, his influence on games cannot be denied.
For a considerable period, there were speculations that Nelson might part ways with the club despite being considered a gem from the academy. Loan spells at TSG Hoffenheim and Feyenoord didn’t bring about significant changes in his squad position upon his return. However, a turning point emerged last season when Mikel Arteta began entrusting Nelson with the responsibility of making a difference for Arsenal.
From being on the periphery of the matchday squad, Nelson evolved into a player relied upon to salvage points for the Gunners. Even in the midst of the remarkable progress shown by players like Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Martinelli, Nelson’s trajectory has witnessed an unparalleled positive shift.
The 23-year-old’s next challenge lies in earning a spot in the starting lineup. While his late-game appearances have been energetic and purposeful, Nelson needs to demonstrate his worth from the kickoff. However, displacing the likes of Bukayo Saka, Martinelli, or Leandro Trossard presents a formidable task.
Undoubtedly, Nelson, often described as ‘electric,’ is eager to prove himself and secure a starting role in Arsenal’s cup games this season. The EFL Cup and the FA Cup provide ample opportunities for Arteta’s squad players to showcase their abilities, and if his recent cameo is any indication, Nelson is ready for the challenge.
Securing a long-term career at Arsenal might still pose challenges for Nelson, but his significant improvement in recent years has defied expectations. What was once a player seemingly destined to depart the side has now become a pivotal figure in the Arteta era, embodying the transformative spirit sweeping through the Arsenal ranks.