It is fair to say that Reiss Nelson’s loan to Feyenoord in the summer did not get off to good start, with the coach Arne Slot, who is known for not mincing his words, made it very clear that the 22 year-old did not arrive in Holland in the best state fitness-wise, but he blamed Arsenal’s training methods rather than the player.
So it took him to mid October before he even got any time on the pitch. In his first ten games when fit he was not given more than 30 minutes on the pitch, and most of them were as very late substitutions.
His game time has since improved, and last month was brought on at half-time against Ajax and has started all three games since, but Slot has admitted that he has not been as impressive as he had hoped. “The talent is there, but what Reiss still struggles with is creating big chances for himself or his teammates,” FR12 report the Feyenoord boss as saying to Voetbal International.
“You see a lot of skill, speed and agility, but the final push is still missing. Then it’s just not a finish or just not an assist.
“The most difficult thing in football is to get the best out of your play. And if you play for Feyenoord, where you often end up in a promising position as a winger, you expect a higher yield.
“I don’t think he is much of a goal scorer anyway. I don’t see him doing that much in training either, but at Hoffenheim, in the Bundesliga, he scored seven goals. That’s excellent.
“I did notice that against NEC, he looked for his direct opponent when he had the ball, which was lacking in the game with Vitesse. I think Reiss is much more of a preparer than a finisher, and I’m convinced he’ll show he can do better.‘
It is a real shame as he was very highly regarded in our academy and was seen as a star of the future when he was promoted to the first team, but despite 23 games for the seniors he never quite reached the standard required.
Hopefully he can start playing regularly and improving his form until the end of the season, otherwise it looks like we won’t see him playing in an Arsenal shirt again…