Transfers

“He feels like I’m at the next level”: Reiss Nelson reveals Mikel Arteta backing ahead of important 2023-24 campaign

The 23-year-old finally put pen to paper on a new four year deal that could be evidence enough to suggest that the former England youth international is the reason why Arsenal have yet to move for a wide forward during the summer transfer window.


Ahead of a massive 2023-24 season where Arsenal is gearing up to push on all fronts under Mikel Arteta in the wake of an unexpected 2022-23 campaign that so nearly ended in a title, Hale End academy graduate Reiss Nelson looks set to have a huge role to play for his boyhood club.

The 23-year-old finally put pen to paper on a new four-year deal that could be evidence enough to suggest that the former England youth international is the reason why Arsenal has yet to move for a wide forward during the summer transfer window.

Despite links with the likes of Bayer Leverkusen’s Moussa Diaby and PSV Eindhoven’s Xavi Simons this summer, Arteta and Edu have yet to splash considerable transfer funds in forward areas, and instead, have been laser-focused on sorting out both the midfield and the backline.

Deals for Declan Rice, Kai Havertz, and Jurriën Timber will take club spending to over £200m, with further links to additional business in both areas of the pitch coming in the vein of persistent rumors surrounding not only Southampton starlet Roméo Lavia but two new names in Bayer Leverkusen’s Jeremie Frimpong and RB Leipzig’s Benjamin Henrichs.

While some pundits still postulate that there could still be room for a late move to add quality into the forward line before the window closes, Nelson spoke on the backing that he has received from Arteta, and on the back of his fresh new deal, could signal a huge increase in minutes for him in the coming season.

“[Mikel Arteta] told me he’s seen a massive change in me and he feels like I’m at the next level and it feels like there’s so many more different levels that I can go to.”

“So that was the conversation I had with him. And for me, I want to prove to him, prove to everyone around, how many levels I can actually go to and that’s what we spoke about.”

As things stand, Arteta can bank on Gabriel Jesus, Eddie Nketiah, Leandro Trossard, Gabriel Martinelli, Emile Smith Rowe, Bukayo Saka, and Reiss Nelson, offering the Spanish tactician seven attacking options across the front three, which constitutes a considerable amount of depth in the senior squad. That does not take into account Kai Havertz’s ability to slot into the number 9 role in a pinch or the fact that Fábio Vieira was also trialed on the right side of the front three last term.

It is hard to see where, and who, Arsenal could turn to in the market that would accept being second fiddle behind Saka and Martinelli on either flank, but given Nelson’s tactical versatility and ability to slot into both roles, the Gunners seem to be in great shape already.


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Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.


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