Mikel Arteta says he’s been impressed by Reiss Nelson’s attitude since he returned from last season’s loan spell at Feyenoord but the winger needs to prove his worth on the pitch.
Out of contract at the end of the season, the 22-year-old was tipped to leave the club in the summer only for a thigh injury to scupper any chances of a late move.
Now that he’s back to full fitness, circumstances – mainly Arsenal’s failure to sign any of their big-name wing targets and an injury to Emile Smith Rowe – mean the attacker has a final shot to make his mark at the Emirates.
Facing the media ahead of Arsenal’s Europa League clash with Bodo/Glimt, Arteta laid down the gauntlet to the 22-year-old.
“Obviously after the spell that he had on loan, we wanted him back to see if there are any changes or a prospect that we can really take to the next level.
“I think the potential is there, we always hang in there because we see something in Reiss that is special. He’s been part of our academy system and now he’s going to have an opportunity. He’s been out for almost three months with an injury, he’s back now, he’s fully fit and he’s ready to play. He just needs minutes now.
“That’s what he needs to do, he needs to show it on the pitch. His attitude, the way he’s matured and evolved in the last year or so has been really impressive, I think everyone [around the club] has been talking about it. Now he needs to do it on the pitch.”
It’s not impossible, close pal Eddie Nketiah had one foot out of the door last year before a run in the side earned him a new deal and the club’s number 14 shirt.
Such a talent in the youth sides, never lived up to the massive amount of hype placed on his young shoulders at the time. I’m hoping he can take Eddie’s example as mentioned, turn it around and have a real go at getting regular game time, the talent is certainly there, I feel it’s all about mentality at this stage and whether he’s got that little bit extra.
There’s such pressure on these lads to become men at 18 years old or even younger.
Ian Wright was one that maybe needed a few extra years to find his place in the world. Not saying Reiss is on the same trajectory, just that it’s not impossible at 22 we still haven’t seen his full potential yet.
What a great story this would make when added to the others already playing out.
90+% of lads his age don’t make it so hope he can prove the exception. Lots of ability, would love to see him do it.
I firmly believe Reiss will earn a new deal. Can lightning strike 3 times, with academy players in their final year being convinced to extend? Balogun, Eddie & hopefully Reiss.
I could be wrong but I’m pretty sure all 3 have the same agent as well.
Reiss & AMN seem to be the ‘lost’ academy generation. Hope 1 or both of them can turn their careers around soon. Alas, last I heard AMN isn’t doing well in his loan move at Southampton.
Arteta’s comment applies to every player but if you’re wanting to “break through” to be a first team squad regular, you’ve got to produce the goods when the opportunity arises. This is that time for Reiss. Given his contract position though, I think he’ll have to do something special, and consistently, to warrant a new contract in the summer. Let’s hope he grabs his chance.
The talent seems to be there, but the application has not been evident when he’s been asked to play for us at senior level. However, if he’s training well enough to have Arteta singing his praises, then maybe he’s up to the task at last?
Arms around the shoulder kind of player who has the undoubted talent but he needs to believe in himself ! I’d love to see Reiss come good he’s good enough but just needs to realise his talent
Couldn’t agree more. There is a really good player, but he just seems to lack belief in himself. Fingers crossed he gets a start against Bodo and shows what he is capable of
Come on Reiss, show some confidence on the pitch and show us what you’re capable of. Maybe he will be more comfortable playing against a Dutch side after his loan spell last season? I hope he starts!
Just checked again, game against Bodo, not PSV. Even better I hope.
Always felt we could lose so much if we let him go, he’s so talented and should be playing for us for years to come. I’ve always seen him at the level of Sancho, he still could do it.