Arsenal’s right hand side is an interesting place this season. Willian’s free transfer arrival from Chelsea got off to a good start last weekend with an excellent performance against Fulham, while also keeping record signing Nicolas Pepe out of the starting line-up.
Competition for places is good, but for Reiss Nelson there must be questions about how much involvement he’ll see if he’s got those two ahead of him in the pecking order.
It does feel as if he’s a player who could go out on loan, with Mikel Arteta questioned about the 20 year in that context earlier today.
“I think they all realise the competition we have in forward positions,” he said.
“I’ve already spoken with Reiss about it and I really like the way he’s training. I think we both agree about how much he’s improved in the last few months and he’s going to carry on pushing himself and the rest of the team.
“He needs to be ready because in football, unfortunately, or fortunately, things don’t take three months to change, it can take three minutes and you have to be ready when that opportunity comes.”
Opportunities should come in cup competitions – with the third round Carabao Cup tie against Leicester taking place next Wednesday – and also the Europa League group stages, but in the Premier League the return to the three subs from seven system means some players are going to be disappointed at a lack of involvement.
“I think if you ask any of those 27 players if they need to play, they will all say ‘Yes, of course, I need to play regularly and I need minutes’,” said Arteta.
“But at the moment it’s just not possible playing one game a week and with this rule of just being able to have 18 players, it’s very difficult to give everyone the same minutes.”