Name: Reiss Nelson
Date of Birth: 10 December 1999
Position: Winger (Right/left)/Attacking midfielder
Reiss Nelson – his career so far
Reiss Nelson is definitely one of the young talents at the Emirates who’s fairly familiar to all of the Arsenal fans out there. The 20-year-old forward has been at the club since he was aged only eight, advancing through their youth ranks rather quickly before becoming a fully-fledged first-team member.
But let’s back up a little bit before we analyse his senior appearances. He was part of the academy and Arsenal youth up until December 23 in 2016 when he penned his first professional contract with the club upon reaching the age of 17.
Since then, he’s had successful spells with both the U18 and U23 squads, recording nine appearances and four goals with the former before making a quick and sudden step up to the latter team, playing a total of 40 games and scoring 17 goals with further 11 assists under his name as well.
Needless to say, Nelson has been a huge part of the Gunners’ U23 team’s success, which ultimately warranted him the final step-up and transfer into the senior team on August 6, coming off the bench in the 87th minute of Arsenal’s Community Shield victory against Chelsea in 2017 to make his debut.
And even though he would end up registering 32 appearances for the senior team of the Gunners, he had to go through a loan spell at Hoffenheim first as he joined the German team on August 31 the following year – shortly after penning a new contract with the English outfit – and marking his Bundesliga debut with a great goal too.
He returned back to the Emirates on June 30 in 2019 and made the official transition from the U23 to the first-team Arsenal squad, scoring his first goal for the club on September 24 to celebrate as well.
In 2019/20, Nelson made 16 appearances for the seniors, scoring two goals and netting three assists in the process as well.
Even though there have been whispers and transfer rumours concerning Nelson in the past, so far there have been no clear Arsenal news that would give us a more concrete answer on his future at the Emirates.
Interestingly enough, Adrian Clarke remarked back in March that the youngster is ‘tailor-made’ for the coach Mikel Arteta and that he should definitely be kept in the gaffer’s plans for the senior team.
The most interesting transfer news around Nelson, however, is probably his current contract situation. His deal is set to expire in 2023 and his last renewal was just before the loan spell to Hoffenheim in 2018.
However, some transfer rumours suggested Arsenal might want to renew his current deal to secure his stay at the Emirates for the foreseeable future but anything concrete is yet to develop from those stories.
As of right now, he seems set to stay at the club for the time being.
Nelson is a versatile winger who can offer reliable performances on both flanks in Arsenal’s forward line. The 20-year-old is a technical and a very direct player with dynamic movement and a keen eye for a goal.
According to Transfermarkt, he’s played seven games on the right-wing, six on the left-wing and one as an attacking midfielder in 2019/20 for Arsenal.
And this is really at the very gist of his player profile – technical skill, intelligent positioning and movement and sheer pace with which he can beat his marker and create space both for himself and his teammates on the pitch.
During his stay both at Hoffenheim and at Arsenal’s first-team, he’s shown the tendency to drift inwards and occupy his respective half-spaces as he advances the ball into the danger zones through those areas the most.
He also excels at running both at and behind the opposition’s defensive line, often dragging the defenders out of position, pinning them down or simply leaving them in the dust after a mazy and pacey run into the free space.
It doesn’t come as a surprise that he averaged 7.53 dribbles per 90 minutes in 2019/20, completing 55.5% of all of them and 1.96 shot assists, both of which are proof of his highly creative nature on the pitch.
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