Reiss Nelson believes his long-standing relationship with coach Mikel Arteta stands him in good stead and he expects the Spaniard to help him deliver on his potential at first team level.
Arteta crossed paths with the winger four years ago when he oversaw Academy training sessions while studying for his coaching badges at the tail-end of his playing career.
Nelson is now hoping he can follow in the footsteps of Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane, two wingers who both benefited from Arteta’s guidance at Manchester City in the last couple of years.
Speaking to the Guardian, he said: “I used to get the ball and just run past everyone – at the time that was one of my biggest traits.
“I think he has probably seen glimpses of that. I wouldn’t say it was too easy but now is a great time to have him as a manager because he understands what I am good at.
“He’s going to give me the encouragement when I need it and if I am not doing the right stuff he is going to tell me. I have all my belief in Mikel and I think he is going to make me into a top player.”
Arteta was quick to give Nelson game time when he took over from Freddie Ljungberg in late December. Unfortunately, injury has kept the England under-21 international sidelined in the last few weeks. It’s expected that he’ll return in the next 10 days at which point, he’s hoping to step things up.
“You look at the likes of Sterling and Sané, and you see them before at their previous teams, they weren’t doing what they do now,” Nelson says.
“I think that is credited to Pep [Guardiola], of course, but Mikel as well because they said he did a lot of one-to-one work with them. They are two top players.
“You can see it because Mikel’s drive is different. I haven’t seen a manager with that much determination to make individuals into better players.
“I was doing one thing with one of the players on the training pitch the other day. He came over and he showed me one thing to do and it is that little detail that is incredible. I think he has got a plan and it is going really good.”