When a player has been out injured for a while, it’s understandable if their first game back is one which is more about fitness than productivity.

Sometimes though, a player hits the ground running after an absence, and that was the case with Reiss Nelson in last night’s 2-0 win over Portsmouth in the FA Cup.

The 20 year old created the first goal for Sokratis, and the second for Eddie Nketiah, as well as providing an excellent chance for Gabriel Martinelli which the Brazilian couldn’t quite get his head over.

It was a performance which impressed the Portsmouth players who, according to BT Sport, were talking about him on the sidelines as a difficult opponent. It also impressed boss Mikel Arteta who talked up Nelson’s qualities afterwards.

“We have pace in a few of our players up front,” said the boss.

“Reiss is a special talent, he can eliminate players one v one. Every time he gets into these situations in the final third, he’s a threat.

“He’s been out for two months, but we’ve got him back now, and that’s what he’s capable of doing.”

Arteta rang the changes last night after defeat to Olympiacos last week, but had faith in his young players to deliver.

“I assessed the team and physically some of them were knackered,” he said.

“Aome of them had issues, some of them mentally were hanging on what happened that day so I tried to pick the right team knowing how they were and I made the most of it.

“If you win, it is okay but if we had lost obviously it would have been the wrong decision.”

Read today’s Arseblog: Portsmouth 0-2 Arsenal: Young Guns deliver as new signing has solid debut

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Cultured determination

So nelson pepe to lord the wings next season to supply auba up top?

Lobsta

Auba or Laca up top, ideally.

Laca is still a phenomenal player, when on form.

Wiscogooner

I’ll take Nketiah. Let’s get some money for Laca and reinvest.

carl

Laca is not phenomenal !! fact and the stats back me on what i say !! Laca is awful the worst striker we have ever had at the club !! He has a touch of a rapist cannot tackle cannot win a header or even bothered to go up for one !! and he cannot hit a barn door at 2 yrds !! fact !!

Anders Limpar

shouldn’t you be at school?

ROTIMI

He tracks back to be honest and is really hard working, but I think his abilities let him down. He is below average at link up plays, something which Giroud has in abundance, and also the same reason why he will always gets benched in the French squad, because he can’t linkup well with Griezmann or Mbappe. He is also inconsistent in front of goal. I doubt if he suits the league

Martin

That’s why he was our player of the year last season. What rubbish you talk about a player going the other first bad patch he is having since joining the club

Martin

Through not the other

ArsenesLongSufferingZipper

With a “supporter” like you, who needs the scum?

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

I’ve seen much worse than Lacazette. Chamakh to start with. You’re obviously trolling or a fan of that lot down the road

DaDude

Or a fan who started watching us in August 2019, then I could understand this opinion.
The qualities of Laca are surely not doubted by anyone who followed his whole career and his exploits in the French league for OL.
The current form is another topic, it is very, very bad, but in basically every other season, Laca has always been a very important part of his respective club.

Hulahoops Baptista

Rape/ rapist jokes aren’t funny. Grow up.

Teryima Adi

Man, take it easy.

DB10s Air Miles

There is literally a list as long as my arm of worst strikes we’ve had. Go to bed mate.

Beearsed

Dickhead – Fact!!!

para

Laca will be a part of Arsenal.

Dave M

I feel like Willock and Nelson (although different players positionally and stylistically) are similar in terms of where they are at. Both are really talented and have learned A LOT coming through the Arsenal system. Both work really hard and are positionally strong in their respective areas, both have good pace, and athleticism (the right body to be really good). Both are actually quite good defensively too. What I think they lack a little is in their technique and vision. Do they have that moment of brilliance tucked up their sleeve to turn a game with an exceptional piece of… Read more »

carl

Saka and Reiss are miles ahead of Willock ! i thought willcok would be a good number 10 but i have changed my mind !! you say his positioning is great !! i disagree !! number tens are always behind the striker to feed them and make the late runs !! he was last night inline with Eddie time and time again !! that for me isnt a good number 10 !! if he sorts that out then and then maybe !!

Dave M

most number #10s have a goal scoring obligation too. You’ve watched Ozil too long and forgotten that goals can and should actually be scored by an attacking midfielder. Yes Saka is ahead Willock, but he is ahead of Nelson too. You like most other suffer from recency bias. Willock has struggled a little lately so he is all-of-a-sudden a terrible player again. First half of the season he was one of the shining lights. Look at the goal Willock scored against Liverpool. Cracking hit! So typical of Arsenal support of youth products…they are great while they are playing great and… Read more »

OdalGooner

Willock has been very impressive – he didn’t have a great game, that was obvious, but he has been one of my highlights of recent months. Thinks quickly, offensively, and uses his body well to shield off defenders. Room for improvement, but at his age (or indeed any age) who doesn’t.

Toni

I liked it when he pulled a sombrero on one of Portsmouth players as we were clearing a corner and went on to give a good pass out right. I think he is the Ramsey replacement we have been looking for. Box to box runner with a good engine and an eye for a pass and a goal.

Rich

If Saka refuses to sign?

And we put him on the market this summer?

We could put £50-£60million on his head, and I’m in zero doubt that every major club in the world would be lining up around the block to sig
n him.

Mpls

No way we’re letting him go.
I know that’s just a statement because the player decides, but No. I won’t even entertain the thought.

The club must not be stupid and must play this right with a respectful offer. If they do I imagine Saka sounds like a smart lad who sees what Arteta and the club offer him and his future for personal development.

He has a lot of career ahead. He can grow his talent -and value if that ultimately is an issue- very well right here.

Duno

That’s absolutely no reason Saka won’t sign unless Arsenal refuses to sign him.

Arseteta

! !! !! ! !! Grrrr

Jimbo1

That was really impressive from the Arsenal youngsters. They played a decent League 1 side off the park. By contrast the Liverpool counterparts struggled to get past a similar opponent in the last round. It bodes well for the future if Arsenal can hang onto the majority of these up and coming players.

Cmdn

Decent.. that left their best players on the bench because they are going for promotion. But keep that charade going if it helps you sleep.

Teryima Adi

We would have beaten their best. It’s not our fault they decided to bench their best.

Mentalista

I wouldn’t mind trying out Pepe as the 10.

Dave M

The thing Ozil still does better than most is possession and building up play. Pepe’s strength is in his pace, technique, skill on the ball and ability to beat players particularly with a little space (hence why teams so frequently send two players at him to limit his space). Sure he can pick a nice pass at times too, but in a packed middle of the pitch he would turn it over way too often and you would be starving him of the space he needs to flourish. Add to that we’d have avery frustrated striker on our hands that… Read more »

carl

for me i think Pepe could benefit from playing up top as striker !! he skills and height make him awkward to defend against !! his touch is so precise he kills the ball with his first touch regardless what sort of ball he has played to him !! and the guy has pace and an eye for a goal !! Like Henry who also was a wide player turned into a striker Pepe can be the same !! Pepe’s can drift out wide and come in field as a striker like Henry did !! its room for thought !!… Read more »

SEGunner

Totally agree – I think giving Pepe the license to do what he wants and the freedom to left or right (not being pinned to the right wing) would be great for him. Martinelli on the left; Auba (if he’s still with us) down the middle; and Reiss (on last night’s form – or someone else if not) on the right would be a constant threat. I also think that the influence of Ceballos can’t be underestimated. He calmed it down, helped us keep possession, but also had the ability to speed up the play and play penetrative passes too…I… Read more »

Alex

Joe showing us that being a 10 is no as easy a task as some may think.

Dave M

People think Willock was bad or something last night?! He didn’t light it up, but he was solid and his workrate is exceptional. He was a solid 6 out of 10. Yes he needs to improve his technique, passing and finishing, but his workrate, athleticism, positioning, off-ball movement, defense and speed are all there. His form is a bit down, yes, but man people are going at willock – a guy that was supposed to be nothing more than maybe the odd cup game guy this season has WAY outperformed expectations. Then he has a few rougher games and people… Read more »

Daniel

Willock is a solid player who will do the job for us, he’s just not as exciting as some of the other young players and that’s not to say they’re better than him they just have the more flashy qualities

carl

i have watched Reiss for some years now and have always thought the guy had everything in the locker to be a first team regular !! His pace has always been frightening and in the youth team he ghosted past players as if they weren’t there but the step up into the first team was always going to be the max test for him !! and boy his has done it !! What i would say is reiss needs more games he needs to be started for 4 or 5 games on the trott to get use to them around… Read more »

goonero

I’d go a step further and say he could be one of the worlds best. He’s got an exceptionally high technical level, explosive pace, good physical balance and a very grounded personality, these are the ingredients for truly world class players. I think when he gets in his groove and adds some more flair to his final third play we’ll see a world class player.

Dave M

No pressure though Reiss…

goonero

Well I’m not saying he should be that good tomorrow…Saturday’s a few days away still

Venga Bus

Great player……..and thanks be to fuck Saka didn’t get an injury…….he’s in red zone surely by now……..can we rest him for a while plse

Mpls

Tierney should be back very soon. He’s back in full training now. Hopefully Saka can get a breather. It’s starting to show in his gameplay that he’s at the limit.

Neil Bamford

I really want to like Pepe but he takes too long on the ball and always has to cut in on his left foot. I do prefer Reiss in that position as he can use his pace and get the cross in. It’s so much better for our style.

Wolsty

Agreed, for me he is too left footed and people say but so is Messi….. You can’t compare the two, do we put Pepe on the right so he can cut in, ala Arjen Robben, he didn’t do too badly….I always say that foreign players will be better in their second season once accustomed to the Premier League…. time will tell. Having both Nelson and Pepe is a massive bonus….

Rich

Nelson has got massive potential, we’re well stocked in the wide positions now.

Saka + Nelson have the same level of potential as Sancho.

Santori

We need an option to Pepe on the wings. He has been OK in flashes but far too sporadic. where he SHOULD be open to criticism is he over complicates things, loses far too many of his take ons and then when he does lose the ball prefers to gesticulate at the Ref or linesman instead of hunt it back down. Off ball work also less than convincing and along with Ozil, tends to drop effort post 50-60 minute mark leading to collapse in overall structure of team. Nelson looked decent yesterday coming back from long lay off with two… Read more »

Hulahoops Baptista

Nelson in full on Agent 47 cosplay mode.

goonerink

you realize its a ‘shop