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‘We’ve seen something in him that is special’ Academy graduate tipped to start Europa League clash

Arsenal have high hopes for yet another academy talent

Reiss Nelson is in contention to start Arsenal’s Europa League tie with Bodo Glimt at the Emirates on Thursday evening after Mikel Arteta confirmed that the club have ‘seen something’ in the youngster.

The academy graduate was expected to follow the same first-team path as Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe, but will the pair have flourished, Nelson’s career has stuttered.

Hampered by injuries, he enjoyed a strong end to his loan spell with Feyenoord last season, with five-goal contributions in his final four Eredivise outings, and he was also handed a starting role in the UEFA Conference League final that his side ultimately lost.

Yet to appear for the Gunners this season, it was decided that he would remain in north London rather than head out on another loan, and Mikel Arteta revealed that this was because the club wanted to see what he could do, before announcing that there is something ‘special’ about the 22-year-old.

“After the spell he had last year on loan, we wanted him back to see if there are any changes”, he explained. We think the potential is there & we think we’ve seen something in Reiss that is special. Now, he’s going to have an opportunity. He’s ready to play.”

“He’s been a part of our academy system and now he’s going to have an opportunity. He’s been out for almost three months with an injury, he’s back now, he’s fully fit and he’s ready to play. He just needs minutes now”, he continued.

Having once been held in similar esteem to Jadon Sancho at youth level, Nelson is yet to realise his enormous potential, and with options in the Gunners frontline somewhat thin following injury to Emile Smith Rowe, this season could be the perfect time to do just that.


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Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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