If any club is willing to pay over 20 million for Reiss Nelson then Arsenal should bite their hand off

Were Mikel Arteta and Edu able to keep a straight face when Reiss Nelson’s agent reportedly informed them that their client thinks it’s best to move on?

That’s like telling your partner you don’t love them, sleeping in separate bedrooms, declaring interest in someone else, then they are the ones who end the relationship, making out that this was their choice.

Surely the midfielder has enough self-awareness to know that he doesn’t need to bring up the subject of a transfer. That’s happening with or without his input.

One Premier League start in 4 years should be a hint!

Say that out loud. Where else would a player start two league games in 4 years and in that time get a pay rise and still have fans support him by claiming he’s yet to have an opportunity.

You either trust our manager or don’t. Many say we have a great coach. Well, that coach watches the talent every day in training and clearly does not trust him outside of a Carabao Cup tie.

Granted in those 4 years he’s either been injured or playing in Germany and Holland. Yet the loans were arranged as part of his development, a chance to prove himself.

In total he’s now played 151 professional games!

89 of them as a Gunner!

I don’t know how many days, months and years you are allowed to be bad at your job?

I would say though those 151 matches is enough for a fair judgement to be formed.

To be a big club you act like a big club. You won’t see many big clubs keep someone not featuring around as long as we have with Reiss Nelson.

In fact, I would debate how many topflight sides he gets into?

If the rumours are true, I admire him for being ambitious enough to want to try a new place of work. Again, he only has to read the room to know his employers want the same thing and it’s ambition he should have shown a while ago.

With a deal not expiring till 2027 he could be paid to sit on the bench. At Arsenal since the age of 9 he could earn a decent salary staying in his comfort zone with zero pressure to play outside the occasional Cup fixture.

At 24 he should want to be playing every week. This was an academy graduate who as a teenager was getting bigger rave reviews then Saka and Smith Rowe.

He’s wasted the early years of his career, time he won’t ever get back.

At 24 he can no longer hide behind youth. There is zero disgrace if you’re not quite at the level to play for the Gunners every week , especially given the standards we are aiming to reach, yet you have to question the mindset of a player who would be content collecting a wage in the safety of the bench (that’s when he’s selected for the squad) instead of putting himself in the spotlight elsewhere.

Like Eddie Nketiah, it’s only because Reiss got promoted from Hales End that some Gooners change their moral compass.

The narrative has often been that the current regime inherited deadwood being over paid. For years that’s why Arteta has been forgiven for ripping up contracts. Yet it seems counterproductive to reduce the wage bill to then waste 100,000 pound a week on an asset where all parties know are not good enough.

Reiss Nelson’s representatives deserve their own pay rise for the deal they negotiated for someone who never plays.

It’s ironic isn’t it. When Ozil equally wanted to honour his contract, his principles were questioned. The German’s motivations were doubted. Why would a professional sportsperson be content to be paid to sit at home if he was asked?

Yet when Reiss Nelson does the same thing, he has sympathy.

What’s the difference apart from one being more creative and having contributed more?

Most fans of every club want ‘one of their own’ to succeed, but that shouldn’t be at the expense of what’s best for the team.

Your often see Reiss Nelson being asked to model merchandise because our marketing department identify our British assets as individuals your target audience will be most likely to relate too.

All clubs have the home-grown rota rules to adhere to as well.

Neither are reasons for someone to earn a living at a club if their skills / technique don’t worry it.

This is why I question the consistency of the management’s management.

On one hand, Ozil, Aubameyang, Pepe, Bellerin, Kolasinac, Mustafi, Sokratis, Maitland Niles, Lacazette, Willian, Luiz and others were all allowed to leave for nothing. On the other hand, Reiss Nelson and Eddie Nketiah get paid to do nothing?

If true, that clubs are willing to pay over 20 million for Reiss Nelson then bite their hand off.


Tags Reiss Nelson


  1. He could be worth way more than 20 mil if he was managed in a better way…how do you develop yourself when opportunities don’t come your way….and then you are expected to make miracles in the 93rd minute of the game after being frozen out of the team for 10 games… And it’s Arsenal that have failed young players .. Nelson is way talented than Klopp’s youngsters(Elliot, Jones etc) that we have seen evolve and whom the Manager was patient with..

    1. Again mate he’s had 151 games to prove that
      At which point do you say that’s allot of chances?

    2. Agreed, Arteta plays with 14 players, and outside that bracke players are depreciating in value.
      Nelson’s time is over, he is 24 and not trusted. Him and Aaron will move on. May be Nketiah. But I hope we trust ESR this season, along with minutes for Nwaneri and Patino, give them a path to the squad and boost their value.
      We should not be losing Walters, Cozier-Duberry etc for free going forward, have to retain academy players and play them so they can be sold like City/Chelsea/Liverpool do

  2. Think we would be lucky to get halve that .
    He will probably be another one that sits out his contract and leaves for nothing .

  3. He’s very much part of the team and club’s plans and wouldn’t be sold, not this summer at least.

  4. He will be used in a player cash swap deal with Crystal Palace. Remember, you heard it first here!
    London club to London club move, uncomplicated.
    Palace have shown interest in Nelson and Smith Rowe. Arsenal are interested in Olise.
    I let you do the Maths.

    1. rather have Eze

      true swap deals almost never happen, just for the papers

      I suspect with FFP/PSR that Arsenal would prefer separate transactions to bank the 100% profit on Academy products, while an incoming cost is amortised over contract term

  5. I applaud you for making an entire article out of a headline that didn’t need one.

    Reiss Nelson is Championship level at best and needs to be sold.

  6. You can’t argue with the stats as presented by Dan.

    I never understood the rationale behind giving both him and Eddie Nketiah such lucrative deals in the first place (although I have been told in the past that this somehow protects their value) I would counter that by thinking that you have to be good enough in the first place to have a value to protect)

    1. There is no doubt that Reiss Nelson has not demonstrated that he is at a level where he can regularly get playing time.
      With regards to the salary it is important to consider that he is home grown. It is also true that there was a perceived need to protect his value when he was given the pay rise.
      It is easy to say he should have been replaced but given the need to strengthen various other parts of the team it was always going to be difficult to get the balance right. The overall cost of replacing him at the time of the deal would likely have been much higher.

    2. Absolutely correct SueP and some of us were amazed at the reported contracts Nelson and Nketiah received, while it is also reported that ESR is on “just” £40,000 a week.
      As Dan says, bite their hands off.

    3. It’s a simple logic and mathematics sue. The options are either you let them run down their contract and loose them for free or you award them a new contract albeit, an improve one, and increase their resale value. Consideration:
      If you go for the first option you loose two players for free and you have to spend money to replace them. The second option to retain them you have to increase their contract even though they are not first team players but they can be a squad players and you can sell them in the future. Even if they’re sold at a combined 20 mill this season we’ve made profit on our investment on them.
      So as a coach, during that period we have more pressing needs to invest in other positions as we’ve already had established starters in their position we only need someone back them up when the needs arise which is very important. So, loosing them for free then means we loose value and we have to go through the stress of replacing them, internally or externally, more likely the later and it’s going to cost us fund that would have been best spend somewhere else. So you see, it’s a simple logic.

        1. Dan,

          This topic came up at the time they got the pay rises and definitely has something to do with being home grown.

        2. They’re not the same Dan. Pepe is on a big contract with us and still have some years left in his contract. Secondly, he wants to play and that is almost impossible due to saka’s form even his performance on loan is not helping his value.
          Thirdly, he’s one of the top earners in the team, hence, for his wages he should be a starter as we cannot afford a squad player on such wage.
          Lastly and most importantly no team is ready to pay for his service even nkethia and Nelson has suitors that area ready to pay.
          But, outside logic, I would love him to be retain at least to ease saka’s burden in that position and his overall stats with us is not that bad. He’s quite productive but the decision his logical.

          1. Pepe left last year for free and only had one year left on his contract .
            Including wages another 100 million down the drain ,how the club couldn’t even get 10 million for him shows just how badly run we are as a selling club ,I expect no different this upcoming season with the players on the for sale list .

          2. You miss the point
            Some players he just rips up contracts
            Then worse talent he gives pay rises too
            His job is to manage what he has
            So I would rather Pepe be coming on then Reiss Nelson
            Can you give examples in 7 years where he’s been productive

      1. Is it “logical” to pay two players a reported £100k a week for four years, in order to keep them and hope that their value will go up sufficiently to pay what they’ve cost the club – meanwhile playing them for a couple of minutes during that period?
        Of course, once the obvious has been accepted and the management decide they are not good enough, the ridiculous salaries and sell on value created by not playing them, ensures the club loses money hand over fist – is THAT the simple logic your talking about?

        1. I agree with Chronicle in one sense but it only seems to work if both players had shown more ability after the contract was signed. Their game time since then has been minimal even if they technically speaking form part of the squad.

          I understand the principle but who on earth thought they were worth £100kpw?

          1. I would imagine SueP that they did. It was probably the minimum contract they would accept without guaranteed playing time. If you look at £5.2million a year for a player who is familiar with the tactics, home-grown, gets along with the group and trains well then it’s a no trainer. It would cost twice that, plus wages, to replace them with no guarantee of improvement.

            Smart move by the club to hold on to them, whether they improve or not, but at the same time, I fully agree with Dan that they need to go. Smart move while we strengthened else where but their time has come. Thanks for the effort lads and good luck at your new club.

        2. Ken
          I said it many time here that the world.of football has gone mad.
          To the likes of us £100k a week is insane but in the world of football it seems the norm
          I can see the other side though where the players cost nothing and givng them £100k a week is recoverable and if they are sold on for £10m gets your.money back which is achievable.
          Anything above this.is counted as pure profit or Is the whole £10m classed as pure profit In the world of FFP
          Onwards and upwards

          1. his wages are in the year to 30 June 2024 accounts for FFP

            so if sold 1 July 2024 or thereafter (as likely) then that £10m is pure profit for the 2024/25 year

            Arsenal can effectively bring in a £40m on a 4 year contract (amortised £10m per year) and be net zero* in 2024/25 accounts

            * assuming same £100k wages, i.e. Nelson stays then £5m wages, Nelson goes then £5m in wages to new player, one in one out and no change to overall wage bill year to year

            this is why signing up Nelson and Nketiah to new contracts was smart business – leaving to one side the debate whether they are worth £40k or £70k or £100k per week (you guys can debate that) – either way Arsenal is better of than the alternative of not signing them to a new contract and them walking away for free

            i.e. we get something or we get nothing

            getting something is the better outcome

        3. I believe both players will be sold this summer. So as I mentioned earlier in my comment, even if they’re both sold at a combined fee of 20 mill we’ve made profit on the cost of offering them the contract. The other option is to loose them for free and, probably, spend to replace them. As for their game time, well, that’s one of our coach weakness, but, despite their game times teams are still showing interest in them and I believe they will both be sold this summer. Though the only player that’s not given enough opportunity is Nelson. Nkethia got enough.

  7. At the moment, if the reported £100k a week is correct, that’s £5,200,000 a year and Nelson signed said contract last season – so that’s £10,400,000….and his four year contract would cost £20,800,000, without any bonuses that might be included.

    I think I’ve got my sums right (it has been known for me to lose the plot!!) so forget all about homegrown, protecting his sell on value etc etc… can someone please explain how putting ANY player on this kind of salary, while giving them mere minutes of playing time, whilst believing that they’re protecting their investment is good business?!

    1. Ken, Reiss is only one year into his new contract, so he’s been paid £5,200,000, not £10,400,000. If he leaves this summer even for £10m then the club will have made a profit.

      1. HD is correct, compare to opposite scenario where Nelson (and Nketiah before him) leave for free as they were already at end of their contract, Arsenal get £zero

        this way we will turn a net cash profit on both, and had the benefit of squad cover even if not called upon (might have been different if we had bad luck with injuries)

        assuming we sell Nelson £10m to £20m, and Nketiah £20m to £30m that leaves us £20m to £25m cash positive

        that actually finances a £60m transfer on 4 year contract on similar £100k wages (due to amortisation of £60m over 4 years – hence the 8 year contracts Chelsea signed last year)

        looked at that way of £zero or £60m incoming player then actually smart business renewing their contract

    2. Agree, it makes no sense. I don’t understand why we’ve done that with nelson and nketiah. I can only imagine we expected them to play more and really thought the had the potential to become starters?

      1. It is highly unlikely that when making those deals the players were told that they were wanted only for the bench.
        Both have some talent and it was certainly hoped that they would have progressed further.

  8. HD, Nelson was on £60,000 a week before his new contract and also received a £5,000,000 signing on fee.
    So your scenario that, if he leaves for £10,000,000 and the club still makes a profit, begins to look a little dodgy!!

    Of course, if he stays, the £10,400,000 becomes live and we then include the £5,000,000 signing on fee and his previous salary of £60,000 a week.

    I wonder what his earnings are, compared to the minutes he played?

    1. Ken, his signing of fee of £5m is spread over the length of his contract, just like it is with Nketiah, and like it was with Sol Campbell. So his basic weekly wage is £80,000, as is Nketiah’s.

      Both Nelson and Nketiah could have left for nothing, and the club wouldn’t have made any sort of profit, and then we would have had to shell out millions to replace them. Imo, what the club have done makes sense.

      1. I’m not sure that you are correct HD.
        I’m talking about a signing on bonus – not a win bonus, scoring bonus, league position bonus etc etc.
        We’re also talking about his initial £60k a week salary, that over a year, amounts to just over another £3,000,000.
        I’ve tried to find out what a signing on bonus is, compared to the other bonuses that would be in a contract and there are plenty of examples regarding the latter that specifically do not mention a signing on fee as part of the scenario.
        If you could give me actual evidence that they are all under the one roof, then I would be happy to apologise – but you are not adding his previous salary when you say how much he cost the club when he first signed a professional contract….. or are you?

        1. Ken, it’s not a bonus, it’s a signing on fee, that’s what players get when they are out of contract, and it’s spread over the length of the contract.

          If we’re going on what players earned over the length of time they’ve spent at the club, then we’ve lost money on virtually all the players we’ve sold.

          1. HD
            I hazily recall Simon Jordan talking about transfers and how clubs write off a sum of money per year per player. There aren’t too many mega bucks transfers that actually bring a profit although certain ones spring to mind such as Kane, Bale (typical Spuds) and Coutinho.

            1. Still not sure your correct re. the signing on question HD.

              As for losing money on players, it depends how you look at it.
              Would you say we lost money on the players who brought us two decades of top four football and CL football?

              In my opinion, Nelson and Nketiah have not been a part of any success, as their contributions have not been game changing overall… and the minutes they’ve played versus their salaries is a travesty.

  9. “I don’t know how many days, months and years you are allowed to be bad at your job?”
    Has he been bad when he’s played? I don’t think so – not over the past couple of seasons, anyway. I don’t think we look weak when he’s on the pitch, unless you’re directly comparing him to saka. If you compare him to martinelli or trossard (who both get far more game time), the difference is less pronounced.
    The bigger issue is that arteta doesn’t seem to trust him or anyone else to play saka’s position imo.
    Completely agree about the contract and the overall point he should really move on and not be content just collecting his inflated salary (very much agree, it does raise questions about the mentality of a player willing to do that), just think the assessment of his performances is overly harsh.

      1. When he’s played, I’d say so – despite the number of matches you mention, he’s been limited in terms of minutes but he generally looks pretty good in those minutes. It is by the by – I agree he should move on.

            1. I can
              Smith Rowe was man of the match
              Reiss Nelson let the opportunity pass him by
              Can I ask how many great games hes had as you said he looks pretty good ?

              1. I’ll take your word on the Luton and Liverpool games.

                “Can I ask how many great games hes had as you said he looks pretty good ?”
                Bit of a contradiction within your question there, dan. You seem desperate to pin me on this – I’m going by the eye test on a small number of games/minutes, and from what I’ve seen, Nelson’s a “pretty good player”. Hasn’t always stood out, but pretty well always been at least solid, works hard, is a good dribbler, opens the game up at times, doesn’t too often give the ball away too cheaply. He did have big moments last season (22/23), but not really this (23/24). I didn’t say he’d played brilliantly in every game and I agreed with a lot of your article.

                1. No but in 89 games mate you should be able to at least name 5 great games
                  If not your just saying he’s been good because he plays for Arsenal
                  If you see hes been good then you be able to name those good games

          1. And I can’t pretend to know why he’s not used more just like I can’t pretend to know why saka plays almost every single game when there are other options besides just nelson.

  10. Dan, I think you are being a bit harsh on a few details, but not wrong on the whole.

    Nelson is not a bad professional or bad at his job. I think he is good enough for the PL IMO even if he is not good enough to start for us or any other top 6 team

    The weakest part in the value of our backups is Arteta. He refuses to play the backups unless forced to do so after injury. This has meant that Saka has looked jaded from time to time, but also that no one got the message that Arteta values Nelson, and no chance for Nelson to show he is a good player. When he has come on, he has done a good enough job. There have been many games we have been comfortably leading where Saka could have used an early exit and Nelson could have had valuable minutes., which would have raised his resale value and attractiveness to other clubs.

    Arteta needs to start rotating more, which will increase the value of the squad. Arteta has rotated Trossard and Martinelli pretty well, so at the moment these two players are pretty valuable. If next season, Martinelli spends most of his time on the bench, his value will nose dive without his potential and skills having done so.

    1. Joshua
      I understand your points completely.

      You have raised the case of Trossard and Martinelli both of whom offer more than RN. Either man is worthy of being in the squad but does Reiss Nelson have enough to share the load with Saka?

      My 2 pence worth is that the whole squad needs to have almost two first 11s which can mix and match throughout the season and whilst I think that the ratio is improving it’s not there yet

  11. He’s played 89 times for us!
    He’s being paid thousands to do that he’s not doing us a favour
    Again when that was other players that was okay

  12. All great points above and an excellent debate.
    I think the point about rotation, especially when we were on our goal spree run, is the fact that many of us brought up.
    Mikel needs to show faith or let the player leave, but, as been his achilles heel, not deflate a players worth.

    To think that we could swap Nketiah and Nelson for one of our Palace targets, but still have to find money to make up the difference, is mind boggling!!
    I don’t like dissing ANY player from The Arsenal, but if we get £40 million for the two of them, that’s approximately £200k a week off the wage bill.

    1. Would Palace fans accept that though ?
      Lose one of your best players for two bottom half of Prem / Championship level players

      1. Well, without knocking Palace, who seem to be finding new gears under their manager, they are still looked upon as a middle of the table PL side Dan.

        I hope this changes, as I have a soft spot for their fans, who are a magnificent bunch.

        Once again, though, it’s the salaries that these two players are on, that could well be the stumbling point – but all things being equal, in my opinion both clubs would benefit.

  13. RN is not a bad player but arteta had issues here refusing to gv him ESR and some of our acdemy not having playing time or feature for first team rather than training or only be in the subs all these are poor Management. But let us be realistic were not yet there arsenal need two best players in each position, before experimenting the acedemy players he need to know how to manage in carabao cup to have a feel of the first team

      1. That’s the REAL issue Dan, along with what he has cost the club in total since signing on.
        The same goes for Nketiah as well.
        What really is astounding for me though, is that ESR is reportedly on £40k a week, hasn’t threatened to leave, wants to play for the club and yet, he sees Vieria preferred to him!!

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