Nelson desperate to prove his worth

Arsenal
Reiss Nelson has revealed his excitement at making his Bundesliga debut after joining Hoffenheim on loan.

Arsenal youngster Reiss Nelson says he will do all he can to impress coach Unai Emery this season and must be patient.

The 19-year-old graduated from the Gunners’ academy in 2017 and has since made four appearances for the first team.

Nelson has been in and around the club’s first team since the 2017-18 season, with then manager Arsene Wenger including him in his pre-season squad.

He made his first senior appearance against Bayern Munich in a friendly before playing in the Community Shield win over Chelsea.

Nelson has since made appearances against FC Koln, Doncaster Rovers, Crystal Palace, Southampton and Newcastle United, but competition for places continues to hot up.

In May 2018, he won the PL2 Player of the Year award although Emery had still not seen enough to include him in his squad last season.

Instead, Nelson spent the year on loan with 1899 Hoffenheim, making his debut against Fortuna Dusseldorf in September.

The youngster eventually made 23 Bundesliga appearances and scored seven goals, but he now finds his route to the first team blocked by Nicolas Pepe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.

Rumours of a permanent switch to Germany were mentioned this summer but Nelson is willing to fight for his place, rather than follow the likes of Jadon Sancho into Europe.

With Pepe and Lacazette injured, he started Sunday’s 1-0 win over Newcastle United and Nelson hopes it’s the start of an exciting campaign.

He told the London Evening Standard: “For me, I just want to take things as they come. I went away in Germany and I think I did well. But the main goal for me has always been playing in an Arsenal shirt week in, week out.

“I need to be prepared all the time for whenever I get the call-up because I know it’s not guaranteed I’m going to be starting week in, week out with the team-mates we have.”

With Eddie Nketiah now on loan at Leeds United in the Championship, Nelson will be hoping he can feature in the early stages of the EFL Cup, FA Cup and Europa League.

He has been tipped to be a future England star after representing the Three Lions from Under-16 level right through to the Under-21s.

Nelson grew up in London alongside Sancho and will be hoping to follow in his footsteps, with the Dortmund man now a regular in Gareth Southgate’s England squad.

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