Monday, July 15, 2024

Frustrating time for Nelson but he can still have a successful summer

The plan for Reiss Nelson was something like this: Make a major impact for England at the U21 European Championship and then return to Arsenal to try and break into the first-team squad.

So far things certainly haven’t gone as Nelson would have hoped as far as his first objective is concerned, with the talented winger having been an unused substitute for both of England U21s’ matches as they suffered an early exit from the tournament.

Nelson could still feature in the final group game against Croatia, but he undoubtedly would have wanted to be much more heavily involved for Aidy Boothroyd’s team.

In the second half of last season Nelson also found himself on the bench quite regularly while on loan at Hoffenheim despite having impressed in the first half of the campaign.

If he applies himself correctly, however, the 19-year-old can still have a hugely successful summer and start the season as part of the senior set-up at Arsenal.

Nelson will miss part of pre-season as a consequence of his involvement at the U21 Euros, but he should still be available for the later friendlies and will be especially determined to make an impact.

Despite still being rather raw, Nelson’s pace and trickery could prove to be extremely useful for an Arsenal side that is in need of wingers.

Expectations should certainly be managed, and it would be unwise to think that Nelson and the rest of Arsenal’s batch of talented prospects will immediately transform the club’s fortunes.

Given time, though, they could certainly make a difference, and Nelson is now much more tactically aware due to the experience that he gained in Germany.

It may have been a very frustrating time for Nelson of late, but matters could improve very quickly.

Jeorge Bird is the author of Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird

Related articles


Notify of

newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Man Manny

Although I share the optimism about Nelson, I don’t think he’s ready to make that step up. There are aspects to his game that still needs to be finetuned. I would suggest another year out on loan to a Championship club.
ESR, Willock, Bielik and Saka? seem more ready for the first team than him by my reckoning.

Santi's Flip Flop

I really don’t understand the obsession with Saka. Yes he is undoubtedly talent and could have great potential, but he has only made one senior appearance IIRC. There is no way, objectively, that he can be more ready for the “step up” to the first team than Reiss.

For me, I am really excited to see one or more of this talented young group make an impact those season. I don’t think we should be prejudging any of them before they’ve been given their chance.

Santi's Flip Flop




I honestly think if we do have meagre budgets then we should rather concentrate on one part of the field rather than getting mediocre stopgaps for every needed position. For example we should invest our budget only on defence and get actual near World class players and let Nelson, ESR, Nketiah, Saka etc run riot for the season.


Are we going to play a system that gets the best out of these youngsters, or just revert to the back three with our attack coming through the easy-to-cut-out wingbacks every game? Emery needs to return Arsenal to the attack-first agenda, leaving the balance of play in the opponent’s half. The majority of the names emerging from the U23s are attackers in intent, so let’s facilitate their development and win some games in the process. Integrating youngsters means playing a system they can understand and adapt to, regularly, and hopefully Freddie can help Emery find the magic formula of “protagonist”… Read more »


I’d personally like to see us stop playing 3 at the back as well, but the crucial problem is that our full backs aren’t good enough defensively for a back 4. With Bellerin out we didn’t have anyone who could reliably do the role on the right, and Kolasinic is a lowkey liability on the left. Focusing our investment in the back line, and letting our youngsters fill in at attacking mid/winger does make some sense.


Agreed, though I do think if we controlled the game better, we wouldn’t be so exposed. Playing on the front foot, and focusing on winning the midfield makes most defences look good! Fingers crossed.

Wilsheres Middle Finger

Happy days – he’s be fresh and rearing to go / have plenty to prove heading into pre-season. Just hoe you want em!

Fart Overjars

What a disastrous u21 campaign. Seeing the pix of the players before the tourno started you could tell they were a gaggle of individuals rather than a real team.

And to bench reiss nelson in favour of some no mark was clearly a terrible choice.


Hahaha England are awful in football as well as cricket. Useless country.


Aidy Boothroyd – clueless, thick, arrogant and overpaid. A shining symbol of the football landscape.


even garry southgate has being so exxagerated….Got his as lucky with worldcup fixtures till semi’s.


At least in England.


So he didn’t feature for a U21 team that had an early exit, sounds to me that’s more of a coach problem than a player problem, nonetheless he deserves a shot at the senior team next season, it’s not like our 1st team is stack with talent!

Leno me, I’ll be your friend

I go into every season expecting Arsenal to experience a Full Nelson.


Seeing how the U21s did in the end, Nelson’s absence from the matches may have been a blessing in disguise…


He probably dodged a bullet honestly, that campaign was such a disaster that being an unused sub is probably the best way to participate in it, can’t be blamed if the manager doesn’t pick you.

Arsenala Vista Baby

Making it more of a reason to point out the coach’s stupidity..


So the question is, has Nelson not been used because he has an attitude problem or because the manager is essentially an Allardyce/Pulis acolyte. Personally I find it concerning that he barely featured for Hoffenheim post Christmas. Maybe there is a good reason. Maybe he just has an entitled attitude…..


He has the raw material to become a big hit, but probably needs 1 more season on loan. He needs to dominate games, not only moments in games


As much as I want to see a shift towards youth, Nelson, Nketiah, Saka, Willock and Smith-Rowe are too inexperienced to be regular starters. It makes sense to give them game time along with the existing underperforming players whom we can’t seem to move on like Mkhitaryan, Ozil and Elneny. Whoever seems to show promise can be kept while the others can be sold to be invested in the squad. Whatever we do, Arsenal will be a Europa league team for a while, I fear.

Share article

Featured on NewsNow

Support Arseblog

Latest posts

Latest Arsecast

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x