Reiss Nelson Only Has Himself to Blame by AI
Reiss Nelson was a highly rated youngster in the Arsenal youth setup. He was classified in the same category as the likes of Jadon Sancho. Highly rated players in the Arsenal youth setup tend to do really well in senior football.
But Nelson has been largely stop and start for Arsenal. His most consistent period has come under Mikel Arteta towards the end of his first half season with the club. However, Arsenal wanted to have more security on the wings rather than go through the growing pains of trying to develop Nelson who was not yet impactful enough.
Even without Willian, Nelson’s competition was Bukayo Saka, Nicolas Pepe, Gabriel Martinelli, and, potentially the club captain, Aubameyang, as well as Emile Smith-Rowe. Both Saka and Martinelli were highly rated youth and both had shown a lot more than Nelson. The Arsenal hierarchy thought it wiser to give the bulk of development minutes to those two and supplement Pepe with the free signing of Willian. Nelson was asked to go on loan and, retrospectively, it was the best option for the player and club who already had enough young wingers ahead of him.
However Nelson said no. He was brave enough to believe in himself. He believed that he could win a place in Mikel Arteta’s plans. Fair enough, but when it turned out otherwise, he had lost a lot of time and he is now behind schedule as a player. Both Saka and Martinelli are now even more entrenched than before. Even though Aubameyang has stopped playing on the wings, Emile Smith-Rowe has been impressive there, while Pepe has learnt to play on the left side, too. With another versatile and highly rated forward like Folarin Balogun coming in the side after being chased by half of Europe, it has gotten even worse for Reiss Nelson.
If Nelson had gone on loan when the club advised him to, he would have had a clearer idea of his future whether it belongs here or not. However, he didn’t and he’s now trying to gain back lost time. That’s all on him and nobody else.