Reiss Nelson Loan Looking Likely After Exclusion From Matchday Squads
Formation Change Leaves Winger on First-Team Fringes
Nelson has been left out of both matchday squads so far this season by manager Mikel Arteta. The Spaniard has favoured 3-4-3 system in his side’s opening two Premier League matches.
The formation means the winger is now in direct competition with Willian and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for a starting place.
As a result, Nelson’s opportunities have reduced – especially with Arteta favouring Eddie Nketiah and Nicolas Pepe as his attacking substitutes. This implies Nelson’s future lies away from The Emirates.
Nelson Not Short of Suitors
Arteta won’t let Nelson leave permanently though, given his comments about the 20-year-old as recently as March.
Speaking after a 2-0 FA Cup win over Portsmouth, in which Nelson starred, Arteta said: “We have pace in a few players up front, and Reiss [Nelson] is a special player and can eliminate players one on one.”
“He’s been out for a while but he’s back now and he showed what he’s capable of doing.”
Nelson impressed during his last loan spell at Bundesliga side Hoffenheim during the 2018/19 season. He scored seven goals in 23 league appearances for the German club, which shows genuine quality.
Several Premier League clubs in the past have vied for Nelson’s signature, both permanently and on loan.
According to The Athletic, Crystal Palace were interested in signing Nelson for around £20 million last summer. Now-relegated Bournemouth and Norwich City were also looking to bring the winger in on loan.
Palace may decide to go for Nelson again should Wilfried Zaha leave the club. A move to Selhurst Park would also allow Nelson to stay in London, where he has lived his entire life.