Reiss Nelson is Ready to Play a Larger Role in the First-Team

Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan
ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 02: (L-R) Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan of Arsenal during a training session at London Colney on February 2, 2018 in St Albans, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
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It is no secret that the current era of football is dominated by complex statistics and technology. Log onto Twitter and you’ll see piles of xG and xA player statistics, whatever they mean. For the simpler fans of the game, there aren’t many sights in football better than seeing a player with immense dribbling ability work his magic. In Arsenal’s case, they possess a player on the fringes of their first-team squad that has the ability to leave fans speechless. Reiss Nelson has all the talent to become a top player, and it’s time for him to step up to the plate.

Reiss Nelson is Ready to Play a Larger Role

Following the sales of Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott, Arsenal’s wide options are extremely limited. Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alex Iwobi are the only established wide players in the side. This leaves more wiggle room for Reiss Nelson, who thrives on the flanks. Nelson is born with the rare glue-on-his-boots syndrome, which means he is an energetic and dangerous dribbler, as we’ve seen numerous times this season already. Making 12 appearances across all competitions, the English youth international has been handed valuable minutes by the boss. The goals and assists haven’t come at the senior level yet for Nelson. However, his seven goals and two assists in 9 PL2 matches showcase his ability to have an impact in the final third. Arsenal must continue to trust and nurture Nelson properly, as he enters into a crucial stage of development.

Nelson Could be Arsenal’s Answer to Their Rivals’ Young Attacking Talent

Recent seasons have seen Arsenal’s rivals acquire exciting young attacking talent from their academies and the transfer market. Anthony Martial, Dele Alli, Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford and Gabriel Jesus have taken the Premier League by storm with their attacking prowess. Arsenal thought they had a gem of their own when Iwobi broke out in stunning fashion in 2016. Sadly, he hasn’t been able to put up the performances or the numbers to reach the top bracket of youngsters. The Gunners have even been linked with big-money moves for young attackers such as Malcom and Leon Bailey. Despite the obvious talent of these forwards, Arsenal already possesses an exciting young winger in Nelson who is ready to break out of his shell. Purchasing another young winger could even damage Nelson’s confidence.

Nelson’s Current Contract Runs Out in 2019

2017 was a complete mess for Arsenal. Most of the year was spent focusing on the contract situations of Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Arsene Wenger. The impact this had on the pitch was extremely negative. All is peaceful at Arsenal, for now, however, after the mess was resolved. In the coming months, though, expect to hear news on the contract situation of Reiss Nelson. July 2019 marks the end of his current deal. His performances and potential have attracted the eyes of European giants, and Arsenal won’t want to lose another valuable youngster.

Although Nelson is still just 18 years-of-age, we’ve seen numerous teenagers make an impact at the senior level in the last year or two. Nelson has everything in his locker to be another one of these breakout stars. His ability on the ball strikes fear into opposing defenders and gets fans out of their seats. Arsenal’s lack of depth in wide positions should allow Nelson to feature more often, and it’s time for him to step up and deliver.

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