Reiss Nelson refuses contract and likely to be sold by Arsenal

The London-born Reiss Nelson joined Arsenal at the tender age of just nine years old, but despite working his way through the ranks he has still not managed to nail down a regular place in the Gunners first team.

He did have a very successful loan at Hoffenheim in the 2018/19 season making 23 appearances, but in all his years with the Gunners he only made 22, and 17 of those were under Unai Emery. Once Mikel Arteta was made boss, Nelson’s chances dried up and he only made two League starts in the whole of last season.

Arteta himself apologised him not having enough room for the 21 year-old towards the end of last season. He told Football London: “I would like to give him more. He’s a boy who tries really hard, he trains every day. It’s very difficult at the moment with the players we have to be able to fit in. I feel sorry because he deserves more. He doesn’t play more and that’s my fault.”


But that doesn’t help Nelson and it now looks like he has given up waiting for his chances and is prepared to move on to find first team football.

Fabrizio Romano tweeted….

So, yet another academy graduate that we thought was going to be a superstar of the future bites the dust. I have a feeling we won’t get much of a transfer fee for him either, even though he has two years left on his contracy…

Tags Reiss Nelson


  1. Could he have done worse than Willian last year? Willian has suffocated chances of some young players; Martinelli and Nelson being 2 of those.

    I don’t blame Nelson at all, and can understand his frustration.

    He never got honest chances to prove himself, compared to Willian. The Brazilian’s dead cat performances were embarrassing and shameful, Nelson wasn’t offered anything close.

    Why would he extend when the club ignored him for Willian? Club did him no favors, so why do them a favor.

    Poor man management has consequences.

    1. Agree totally Durand. Everybody needs time to integrate into a team, and younger players even more so. He never got that time, so all we have to remember are a few sporadic, average appearances whilst acclimatising. But the kid never stop running and trying. If he goes I think with a regular run he can be a top baller – good luck to him.
      The polar opposite of Willian the moneygrabber, who although experienced showed no enthusiasm, energy, skill or progress in his long run in the side.
      Serious failing of Arteta. I hope he learned a lesson on how to treat people from it, but we will see.

    2. Durand and guy, so true. It may be that Mikel Arteta has preconceived ideas about some young players he knew from the Academy, when he last played for Arsenal before he joined Manchester City. So much for the fresh start; it appears to be selectively applied.

  2. Hmmmm… My dear with this is, I like Nelson as a player and I see him becoming a better player in the near future, I pray his leaving doesn’t backfire like that of Gnabry.

    Look at Sancho today whom Man Utd just grabbed from BVB for a massive fee, I see our own Sancho in Nelson. Who says can’t even be better if given a good run of games, he already showed glimpses of that quality on loan in Germany.

    AFC should keep him by all means possible, the boy will come good with a run of games at an EPL club.

  3. This is the only English player at Arsenal that I think has all the talent in the world to become WORLD CLASS.

    We have not simply utilized him properly…

    So I support him in his efforts to leave. No one at Arsenal sees far enough…

  4. Arteta’s poor man-management skill rearing its ugly head once more&he doesn’t seem to ever learn…nelson,saliba,martinelli,guendouzi,balogun to name but a few.

    1. Guendouzi is not a good player and should be sold, but the others you mention do have a lot of potential and should be developed.

  5. I too was a little disappointed because of Willian he didn’t get an extended run in the side last season. He surely couldn’t have done any worse and the experience would have done him a world of good.

  6. Says he hasn’t agreed yet, not refused. Still hope perhaps but I wouldn’t blame him if he left.

    Hope he stays and is able to find a loan move to a team that will value and nurture him. The kid’s a certified baller.

  7. Yet ANOTHER player that’s been devalued by MA! Costing the club on another player. Single handedly putting an end to Nelsons Arsenal chances.

    Could he have been worse than Willian last season, No! Im sure Martinelli will be next to go by the end of the season. We are becoming a joke of a club and the laughing stock of the EPL.

  8. Absolute garbage decision making on Arteta’s part. Persisted in selecting Willian over Nelson no matter how terribly Willian played on a consistent basis. Nelson is a talent who should have been getting game time and being developed, at the very least to increase his value in a sale. He is a very promising player, and its simply tragic that Arteta did not even want to give him a look.

    Arteta prefers geriatric players to play in a hyper-defensive system that is completely toothless offensively. I am not sure why any top talent would sign for Arsenal anymore. We don’t play attractive football, our tactics are to play for a draw, and we have zero ability to develop players and we have zero ambition.

    Even Smith-Rowe’s rise was a complete accident, he would never have had a look-in if it weren’t for a massive injury crisis. Were it up to Arteta, he would not have played all year. Arteta did not waste time shunting Smith-Rowe to the wing rather than his central attacking midfield position where he excels.

    Arteta, like Emery, wants everyone playing out of position and does not know how to get the best out of players. We’ll finish in bottom half of the table next season, guaranteed.

  9. I pray the boy stays. He is a potential and reasonable footballer. He shouldn’t be benched again. Look at when he(Arteta)used him against Tottenham Hotspur, he(Nelson)changed the game immediately. Those young players(Saka, Smith, Nelli, Nelson, Balogun, Willock, Nketiah, and others) need a lot of playing time to show their talent and performance. Loot at Willock when he was at Newcastle, he performed brilliantly and powerfully.
    Wise up Arsenal FC, do not sell your young talents again……..

  10. No path through to first team under MA. Not just him but for many an arsenal homegrown. Can’t believe Taylor-Hart hasn’t signed nor been given a potential pathway. Under this regime we are further away from winning a league title. So many mistakes and now out of Europe. MA can’t judge a good player. His record shows this and selling Martinez but wanting Ramsdale? Really?

    1. 👍 Steve Bruce is supposedly a poor manager, but look how Joe Willock performed for him at Newcastle United, when “given his head”. Newcastle United were verging on relegation, when in 15 games he scored 8 goals and they finished 12th. In scoring those 8 goals, Willock scored more goals than the whole Arsenal midfield over the last two seasons.
      Arsenal has at least two LB’s in Joel Lopez Salguero (19) and Tolaji Bola (22), who could have deputised for Kieran Tierney, yet Arsenal went to the market. Is it any wonder Bola is leaving?

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