The word ‘legend’ is bandied about too often for my liking by Arsenal fans, but every now and again we get someone like Ian Wright, Thierry Henry or Denis Bergkamp come along and they certainly have earned the right to be called one. So I’m not sure I like it when unproven youngsters out on loan gave that as one of their aims in life, although I think with young Reiss Nelson we may have the makings of a big Arsenal star of the future.
He has set his sights very high straight from the off, as he told the BBC: “Arsenal are my boyhood club,” he said. “I’ve been with them since I was eight, so that’s 10 years.
“I just want to go back there stronger because at the time I was at Arsenal I was 16, 17 and I didn’t feel confident.
“I didn’t think I was a man, but now I’m feeling stronger and I think a couple more months or even a year in Hoffenheim will make me strong and give me the belief and confidence to go back to Arsenal and do very good there.
“I want to be an Arsenal legend. And, for England, it’s the best. You can’t beat playing for your country I don’t think.”
That is a great aim but you should be careful what you say (we all remember the words of Lord Bendtner!), but I think young players should be just thinking of working harder just to get to the top. I prefer the response of Nelson’s fellow-loanee in Germany Jadon Sancho, who was asked the same question. He said: “I feel like I’m just doing my job really, I don’t really look at myself as the next big thing,” he said.
“I’m just here to do my job and I just want to play – that’s the love of the game really.
“I think if I keep this up I can go a long way, but I’ve just got to keep grounded and keep focused.”
“Right now I’m just focused on season-by-season, game-by-game. I couldn’t really tell you the future.
“But, country-wise, I hope I get more senior caps, that would be fantastic for me and my family. I’ve just got to keep on working hard and you never know what’s next.”