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.