Arsenal have been linked with Yannick Carrasco throughout the summer period in an attempt to fill the right wing position as the position was a problem area for the Gunners last season. With Mesut Ozil playing more centrally, Henrikh Mkhitaryan struggling for form and Danny Welbeck being plagued with injuries, Arsenal struggled to fill that position during the last campaign. With the transfer budget being depleted due to finishing outside the top four, the solution could come from within the clubs own academy.
Reiss Nelson has been the brightest prospect to come out of Arsenal’s academy in a while, hoping to follow in the footsteps of recent academy graduate Ainsley Maitland-Niles in stepping up to the first team. Upon appointment, Unai Emery decided that Nelson was in need of some experience so the young Englishman was sent on a season-long loan to German outfit Hoffenheim. In 29 appearances for Hoffenheim Nelson scored 7 goals, which is impressive considering the youngster only made 5 starts during his loan spell. The loan spell could prove to be the making of Nelson, with Hoffenheim manager Julien Nagelsman being known to expect tactical flexibility from all of his players but most notably his forwards. Nelson was utilised in a variety of positions under Nagelsmann, ranging from centre forward to right wing back. Having the ability to play several positions and being tactically flexible makes him a great option under Emery who also likes to play various systems.
Nelson is only 5 foot 7, but his diminutive size helps him with his excellent close control and lightning-quick changes of direction. The England U23 international offers a direct, attractive style of play that is similar to his good friend Jadon Sancho. At only 19 years of age Nelson still has his best years ahead of him but if the last few years are anything to go off, he is going to be a top talent. Prior to his loan to Hoffenheim last season, Nelson has been regularly involved in the Arsenal first team but his exploits with the Under 23’s are the most notable, having scored 9 goals in 11 PL2 appearances.
Recently Nelson has recently expressed his desire to stay at Arsenal next season instead of another loan move, insisting he is “Arsenal through and through”. With the recent coaching shake-up at Arsenal looking to promote the pathway from academy to first team alongside the reported lack of funds at the Emirates, making Nelson a mainstay in Emery’s plans could be the perfect move for the Gunners.