According to reports in Germany, Julian Nagelsmann dropped Reiss Nelson from his Hoffenheim squad this weekend as an ‘educational measure’.
Nelson has made 23 appearances for the Bundesliga outfit since signing on loan in the summer but has been on the periphery of things since the turn of the year.
His blistering start to life in Germany included six goals and October’s Rookie of the Month award, however, of his club’s last eight league games he’s played just 69 minutes, coming off the bench on four occasions.
We’ve not watched enough of the 19-year-old to know if he’s struggling with a mid-season dip of form or if other factors are at play. If his absence from the 2-1 win over Nurnberg was for disciplinary reasons, something Nagelsmann hints at, the underlying cause remains unclear.
What we do know, is that the coach was very unwilling to get carried away when the teenager banged in a few goals at the tail-end of last year.
In October, he said: “We must be mindful. Nelson’s scored four goals, two very important ones against Nuremberg, but he’s also had bad games.
“He needs to grow healthily. It’s like in music – one song puts bread on the table but only for a few weeks.
“It’s not about being a one-hit wonder, but about delivering good performances over a long period of time. Being the best over 15 years.”
You can’t really argue with that. Here’s hoping Reiss sees Saturday’s absence as a pick-me-up heading into the season finale.