Reiss Nelson says he’s taking each day of his Hoffenheim adventure as it comes and admits he never envisaged playing in the Bundesliga at such a young age.
The 18-year-old has made a huge impact in Germany since joining Hoffenheim on loan in the summer, scoring four goals in five games which have in turn earned him a call-up to England’s under-21s.
All in all, it’s been a whirlwind few months for the boy from Lewisham who maintains that there’s more to come.
“I would never have expected myself to be in the Bundesliga at 18, in such a big league like this,” he told Bundesliga.com.
“I just have to take every day as it comes, keep practising, keep asking questions to all my teammates, the coaches. Keep my feet on the ground and keep going.
“I’m liking the Bundesliga,” he added. “There’s a lot of top, top defenders that you come across.
“It was always going to be a challenge so when I got the offer to come out here I was excited, knowing it was going to be such a big challenge for me. As a person and as a player, I wanted to take the next step.”
So far, Nelson has been utilised across the Hoffenheim frontline by coach Julian Nagelsmann. While he thinks he’s best suited to the number 10 position, he also knows he can cause mischief wherever on the pitch he gets game time.
“For me, as long as I’m in the starting XI then that’s fine. I think the boss plays you in a position where he thinks he’s going to get the best use out of you.
“As a number 10, or a second striker, there’s a lot of good positions where I see myself and I can go on and do damage if I listen to my teammates and coaches.”
All going well, Nelson, who signed a new long-term deal at the Emirates before moving to the continent, should return to London to challenge for a place in Unai Emery’s squad next season. Until then, he’s hoping to keep enjoying himself.
“At the moment I’m very happy here. I’m playing, I’m scoring, but I’m an Arsenal player at the end of the day, so I have to stay and do my job here, then wherever football takes me I’ll go.”
If you’ve got a spare five minutes, Nelson’s full interview, in which he talks about the importance of his family and his friendly competitiveness with fellow Bundesliga starlet Jadon Sancho, is worth a read.