Mikel Arteta has backed Reiss Nelson for more game-time moving forward this season as he confirmed that Arsenal considered loaning the youngster out during the transfer window, in comments reported by Football London.
Nelson has played more of a peripheral role for the Gunners this term. He did feature in the Community Shield in August. However, he has gone on to make just one start and one further substitute appearance in all competitions.
For many, Thursday’s Europa League tie with Dundalk may perhaps present a good opportunity for the 20-year-old to feature.
It remains to be seen whether he does play. But Arteta praised the way that he has been training having decided that he wanted to stay in North London this term.
“We ended up with a large squad at the end of the transfer market. We had a few plans in mind with Reiss, one of them was to send him out on loan to get more minutes because of the competition we have upfront,” he said, as reported by Football London.
“The reality is that he’s been really good in training, he wants to stay here and fight for his place. He’s going to get chances in the right moment. Things are changing very quickly with injuries and he will get opportunities. It’s down to him whether he will take them or not.”
Nelson ended last season with 22 appearances under his belt in all competitions. So he may have been expecting more game-time than he has had so far.
But with Arsenal still battling on four fronts, he will be aware that his patience should be rewarded at some stage throughout the campaign.
As Arteta notes, the onus will be on Nelson to make the most of any chances that come his way.
But having struggled to break into Arteta’s plans so far this season, the youngster will certainly hope to prove exactly why he wanted to stay in the summer as the Gunners weighed up loaning him out again.