There has been a lot of talk about Reiss Nelson’s loan period at Feyenoord after his coach Arne Slot implied that when he arrived from Arsenal he was not fit enough to keep up with his squad-mates as they were more “intensive”.
In fact he hasn’t played for the Dutch giants since his arrival, and after Slot told the media that he wasn’t ready to face PSV last month, the boss said (as quoted by The Sun): “No, he is not there, it is quite difficult to explain. I have asked the medical staff if that is easy, but that does not seem to be easy.
“The bottom line is that he is in good condition, but that is different from playing matches and a certain kind of training.
“At Arsenal, he was part of the selection, but there they did a lot of eleven-on-eleven and he belonged to the team that had to imitate the opponent. Then you have to walk a bit like the coach wants you to walk.
“He has not played any matches. The intensity of our exercises may have happened there, but he was not there.”
But, at last he has now played half an hour in Feyenoord’s 2-2 draw with RKC Waalwijk, and Nelson implied after the game that it was an injury, not fitness problems, that had prevented him playing. “I got here and I got a knock in training so it kept me behind,” he told ESPN.
“Now I’m happy I’m back with the team and back playing. It was hard [to stay patient]. I used to come and watch the games here as a fan and the atmosphere here is very good.
“This is what I want. I need the confidence from everyone behind me to give me the drive to keep going. That’s why I chose a club like Feyenoord because I felt like it gives me the confidence and it’s really good for me, to carry on growing as a player.”
Well, it may be a bit belated, but Nelson still has many months ahead to prove that he can stay fit and have a positive impact on his loan club’s season.
But whether he can prove to be the star that we were predicting a few years ago, we will have to wait and see…..