One of the early beneficiaries of Mikel Arteta’s appointment as Arsenal manager is Reiss Nelson.
Since the arrival of the Spaniard, he has started four of the five games (inc Everton 0-0 even though Freddie was in charge for that one) and was trusted to come as a sub midway through the second half of the 2-0 win over Man Utd on New Year’s Day.
Last night, his goal was enough to send the Gunners into the fourth round of the FA Cup, and while it wasn’t necessarily the most convincing finish, he was in the right place at the right time, and they all count.
Speaking afterwards, Arteta spoke highly of the attacking midfielder, someone he had worked with during his time as a player at the club.
“I am very pleased with him, how he’s training, how he’s reacting, how willing he is to learn,” he said.
“He’s asking the right questions, I know about his ability, I’ve known him since I was here and I coached him when he was 16. I know his potential and now he needs to put things away.
“I am really, really pleased with Reiss, I think he needed that goal as well for his confidence.
“He needs to improve his end-product a little bit in the final third, but he’s doing all the right things.”
Nelson felt a little surplus to requirements under Unai Emery, and seemed to have been overtaken by some of the other younger members of the squad.
It’s worth remembering he’s still only 20, and there are definite signs of progress here.