Thursday, December 8, 2022

Nelson: I’d love to commit to the club

Reiss Nelson says he’s not given up hope of securing a new deal at Arsenal despite struggling for game time in recent years.

The winger, 22, signed a one-year contract extension prior to joining Feyenoord on loan last season and is due to become a free agent next summer.

While Mikel Arteta says Arsenal are willing to “hang in there” with Nelson, the manager also challenged the player to “do it on the pitch” now that he’s back to full fitness.

On Sunday, playing his first Premier League minutes in more than a year, Nelson did exactly that, scoring twice and providing an assist for Thomas Partey as the Gunners ran out 5-0 winners over Nottingham Forest.

It remains to be seen how many more opportunities come his way but he sounds determined to build up some momentum with a view to giving the club something to think about.

“I’ve never doubted myself at this football club. Arsenal is a team that I’ve been at since I was eight years old and I have a very, very strong bond and love for the club,” he told reporters. 

“Of course, there have been times where I’ve been a bit down when I haven’t played or been on the bench, but my plan has never been for me to leave the club or say that I have no future here and I will do everything possible to get there.

“I only have some months left on my contract. Getting a new deal would be amazing and I would love to commit to the club.

“Any opportunity I get I’m going to try and take and just do my very best and just keep helping the team really.”

At the weekend, Arteta pointed to the fact that Nelson had matured a lot in the last year. Having already been on loan in Germany as a teenager – a season-long spell with Hoffenheim in 2019/20 – it’s interesting that the winger says his recent spell with Feyenoord has been transformative.

“I feel like I’ve matured and learned. I think it’s helped my game quite a lot playing in big games against big teams like Roma in the final of the Conference League and especially going to teams like Ajax with atmospheres I haven’t really experienced, which only helped me.

“So yeah, I’m grateful for Feyenoord for giving me the opportunity to play and it’s just made me much more hungry to go back to Arsenal and play much more now.

“I’m 22 now, turning 23 soon, and it’s just about getting the rhythm of playing much more games now and trying to progress into starting week-in, week-out and just to reach a new level.

“I feel like I’m at a level now where I’m still not at the rhythm that I would like to be and I just want to get to a rhythm where I’m playing regularly.”

Nelson recently admitted that when he broke into the first team squad he was “the cheeky chappie” and that he got into trouble as a result.

“I wasn’t really good with time-keeping and things that I should have been doing, I was doing what I wanted,” he told Arsenal.com.

“I made my debut at 17 and was training with the first-team at 15 and 16 so I felt like I had all the time in the world. But if I could give one bit of advice now, it’s that time goes just like that.

“So any opportunity you do get, it’s a basic thing, but live it and understand it to the full, because you never know how quickly your career can go.”

It sounds like the penny has finally dropped. The question is whether he now has enough time to turn things around.

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Mr November

I don’t think anyone ever questioned his talent, he’s clearly always had it in abundance. It seems like he’s finally got the mentality to go with it. I really hope he can show us what he’s got and get a new contract as I’ve always believed there’s a top player in there.

Funsho Patrick

Not sure it’s only about showing us what his got … giving him a contract is a no brainer because he’s English for starters and will command the English ‘premium’ in the transfer market….too young and too gifted to leave on a free….

Jay

Echoes of Francis Coquelin here. Went thru an indifferent spell, then partnering with Cazorla completely transformed his game and put him in an upward trajectory from then on. Still remember than game against ManCity where it all seemed to come together for him.
Hope you pick up from here and have a long and successful career at The Arsenal, bro!

Prakhar

This fucker, makes me work even harder. No more talk of unfulfilled potential. He is doing it.

Mesut Ö’Neill

Guess people don’t like the word “fucker” 😂

ClockEnder

Also, that comma straight afterwards is about as welcome as yet another Cedric cross.

Lolerinho

A better word to use in the future is ‘chode’, it is less offensive, but carries emotional damage instead 🙂

Reiss kinda reminds me of Zaha, he seems a late bloomer, but with bags of skill.

Boy Bastin

Better to use “chap”?

Mayor McCheese

Maybe he pulled up trees against Forest, but I’m not getting carried away with any Reissency bias. An admirable performance with Victory on the weekend would go some way to raising my support from half Nelson to full. I’d prefer to judge him after a few Muntz of regular play.

Nas

Work harder 🤣 easy man

AlexNuggz

Now is his time, rise Nelson! I would sign him up even if he wasn’t staying to protect his value, he would fetch a tidy sum in future transfer windows.

Boy Bastin

I hope he does rise to the occasion/challenge. Your strategy looks good on paper however the potential flaw – and it is potential – is that if things don’t turn out as everyone would hope then his value decreases, and the club may be stuck with a player that they can’t sell easily in an already crowded marketplace. Not a scenario that Arsenal are unfamiliar with, I think we’d all agree. I’m not saying that will happen, nobody knows frankly, but it’s a possibility that will need to be considered.

BillyKrystal

Part of me would give him a 3 yr deal on Sunday’s performance and these comments alone. His wages would still be low, he’s good to have around, might be ok with the odd sub appearance. The other part of me thinks he should only stay if MA will genuinely have him in that rotational group of the front 3. If not idk if it’s fair to him to keep him around as a reserve. Jenkinson was great to have around, but was kind of a sad part of his career barely playing for us. If we sign a wide… Read more »

Vonnie

I’m pleased for him. He’s always had the talent but seems not the confidence or application. Mikel demands high standards and maximum input, it’s interesting that Reiss and ESR have both spoken about changing their general behaviour and lifestyle to be more professional. The Academy now places huge emphasis on behaviour, when these players were coming through it wasn’t the case, they’re having to learn late what the current youngsters are being equipped with early. Reiss has always been a technically superb young player, if he now has the mindset to match the talent he could be very special indeed.… Read more »

P.D.

‘The Academy now places huge emphasis on behaviour, when these players were coming through it wasn’t the case, they’re having to learn late what the current youngsters are being equipped with early.’
Very curious what your basis for this statement is ? I would have always assumed that was standard enough at the Academy ?

Mr November

I think since Mertesacker has taken over as head of youth development there has been more emphasis on building the character of the players as well as on the technical side of things.

P.D.

No, I get that he has said that…but with all due respect to the BFG (& I am a big fan) that’s his slant, it may not necessarily be true that his predecessors saw things THAT differently….

I just think it’s a big stretch to say ESR/Nelson matured later because the way the Academy was set up. I would think the simpler/more obvious reason is that they’re young men, not robots, and not everyone matures at the same rate. Saka came through exactly the same system & has always seemed like an old head on young shoulders

Vonnie

The Academy was quite poor for a while and the upturn only started when Ivan Gazidis put Andries Jonker in charge in 2015, coaches were removed and the whole place rebuilt, but it only really got started in 2017 when Per took over. There’s more focus on the player as a whole person, not just on the pitch, and a lot more focus on things like diet, fitness, life skills. Youngsters like Reiss, ESR, Maitland-Niles were sort of caught up in the transition and I don’t think they were given certain skills early on, or taught the level of commitment… Read more »

karl

It is had to believe Reiss is still only 22, as he seems to have been around forever. He always had talent, but injury and youth got in his way for a while. I really hope he makes an impact on the 1st team now.

Naked Cygan

We have to remember not all young players become super stars at 18 or 19. Some take longer and I hope Nelson can break into the first team and give Saka some competition.

Man Manny

It’s dicey for Reiss here at Arsenal at this point. The stakes are higher now than few years ago. We are now in league title conversations and we need players who operate at that level. If Reiss can produce what he did against Forest on a regular basis, hopefully starting with Fc Zurich on Thursday, then maybe there is a chance of a new contract. But my gut feeling is that the team has learnt its lessons on players who are playing for new contracts: they rarely hit those heights afterwards. I think Reiss Nelson will be playing somewhere else… Read more »

Eric Blair

Well they offered Eddie a new contract on a brief period of form while his contract was running down, so who knows? I’d love to see him come good but I’m sceptical, head over heart for me on this one.

Crash Fistfight

Maybe they’ve learnt their lesson since then?

Boy Bastin

Although comments here suggest Arsenal should/will offer him a new contract, I wonder if they will? Obviously, his performance against Forest was excellent but contracts aren’t awarded on the strength of a game or two and in his case quite a lot of time has been lost one way or another. With the injury to Saka (hopefully not serious, especially with the WC looming) Reiss may get some immediate game time against Chelsea and/or Wolves and, with inevitable injuries/suspensions particularly in the second half of the season, we may see more of him then as well. Eddie was awarded a… Read more »

A Different George

An interesting point that applies to several young players: playing in important senior matches for big clubs, whatever the league, in front of large crowds and with lots of pressure and scrutiny can be extraordinarily valuable. Saliba (and, I hope, Tavares) at Marseille is a perfect recent example. The level of play at a club like Arsenal is of course higher, but the big club experience at Feyenoord or Marseille is very similar.

Speaking of Marseille, intriguing game tonight as a few Arsenal alumni up against Sp*rs. If Sp*rs lose, they’re out of the Champions League. Which would be rather amusing, but on the other hand, not sure we really want them in the Europa League either. (They can’t finish bottom). Too many bad memories this century of facing English opposition in Europe. Wayne Bridge late winner at Highbury in the Invincibles season. Ronaldo/United going 2-0 up at the Emirates in the first 10 minutes, we never recovered. Liverpool scoring two goals in the last five minutes after that incredible Walcott assist to… Read more »

Mesut Ö’Neill

After years of of only showing half Nelson perhaps he will now go Full Nelson

Collibosher

On Sunday he went Double Nelson!

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

IF he proves himself during the season, a 3 year deal as backup to Saka. Then focus on solid backup for Thomas, and backup for Martinelli. Hopefully The Smith can stay fit and he can compete for Xhaka’s role

Emi Rates

I think there’s a case for him as a squad player alongside the likes of Holding, Elneny and Nketiah. Bring him on for the FA Cup, Cucaracha Cup as sub in PL and EL/CL.

Gabigol

Will be interesting to see what happens contractually. As his contract is likely small when he renewed as a development player before going to Feyenord

RockyRog58

If he believes & he follows what Arteta is asking of him Reiss has the talent to succeed ! I really hope he does & if its at Arsenal brilliant ! His first touch on Sunday was quality but now it’s down to drive determination & motivation He can’t be that “most talented kid in the academy” any more ! Saka was not so advanced with skills but someone on here hit the nail on the head Saka has a wise old head on those young shoulders That is the bit Reiss has to show from hereon in as his… Read more »

Brady’s bunch

Probably less of a punt than Eddie. He has a better skill set which could offer more to the team but probably just another squad player and not a starter.

Cobwebs

Good to read a Column about Nelson.

Goodly Morning

I’m 22 now, turning 23 soon…. The. I’m 23 until I’m 24…Definitely listens to arseblog.

Arse Busquets

He’s an “internal solution” for now, but if we’ve in the market for a winger I am not sure whether he has a long-term future with us. Obviously if he continues to perform when given the opportunity there is a chance he might get a new deal. However, if we do qualify for the CL next season, we are going to need better rotation talent in a certain positions. I am just not sure Neslon will get to the level where we would be happy to play him instead of Saka if the latter needed a rest, rather than being… Read more »

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