Reiss Nelson says he wants to break into Unai Emery’s first team when he’s done at this summer’s Under-21 European Championships.
After a year on loan with Bundesliga side Hoffenheim, for whom he scored seven goals in 29 appearances, the 19-year-old winger is expected to be brought back into the fold at Arsenal where he’ll challenge for a starting berth on the wing.
Given Nelson will miss a big chunk of pre-season due to England duty he’ll have his work cut out, but he’s looking forward to the challenge.
“Arsenal is my main goal,” he told Sky Sports. “After the Euros I’ll look to go back to pre-season, do that very strong and hopefully play for the team I love.
“I haven’t spoken to him [Unai Emery] yet. The recruitment team said I need to concentrate on the Euros and then we’ll get back into Arsenal later on.”
On his time in Germany, he added: “I learnt a lot on the pitch and I’ve had to deal with a lot off the pitch as well – the culture, the German [language] barrier, but I thought all in it has been a good experience and I’m ready to come back.”
Aidy Bothroyd’s England under-21s face France, Romania and Croatia in the Group stages in Italy and San Marino and could finish as late 30th June if they make the final.
It’s an experience that should stand Nelson in good stead and he’s eager to make an impression on the international stage with a highly-fancied squad.
“We have a great team – a lot of players that are playing regularly for first teams, a lot of older lads and I think everyone has got high expectations.
“I think it’s good going into such a big tournament and there’s a lot of big teams so I think we need to have confidence going into it.
“There’s a great atmosphere and I think we’re ready for the tournament. We want to go out to win but we want to play our style and bring the trophy back to England.”