'You can make it': Robin van Persie has told 22-year-old Arsenal youngster he can reach the next level
Arsenal attacker Reiss Nelson has revealed that Robin van Persie has offered him a lot of advice since he joined Feyenoord on loan last summer.
The 22-year-old Englishman was viewed by many as the future of Arsenal’s attack when he was coming through the ranks at the academy, but things just haven’t worked out for the talented winger.
After starting just five games in all competition for the Gunners in the 2020/21 campaign, Nelson needed to head out on loan to get some regular game time under his belt.
At Feyenoord, despite problems in the first half of the campaign, he has achieved that, and a familiar face has apparently helped him a lot.
Robin van Persie has told Reiss Nelson he can reach the next level
In an interview with The Athletic this week, Nelson said: “Sometimes he comes over on a Wednesday, before Europa Conference League games on a Thursday. I ask him about what positions I need to be getting in. Certain movements I need to be doing, certain finishes.
“He’s amazing. He makes it so much simpler for you to understand. Sometimes the ball will come inside, and you go to smash it. He’s just like, ‘Look, make sure you get (good) contact, make sure your body is this way, make sure you just want to hit it into the corner’.
“He said that he just started working on all these different movements, to be that extra bit sharper than a lot of the defenders. He just worked on it all the time, every day, and it took time, but then he really got the hang of it. It made him into the guy he is today.
“So he said: ‘Just keep going and keep persisting in everything you do and you can make it to that level’.”
There’s no doubt about Nelson’s talent, but the question has always been if he can consistently perform at the top level. The answer to that, so far, has been a no, but that can change very quickly.
Since December, the 22-year-old Hale End graduate has directly been involved in 11 goals in all competitions. He has been very good for Feyenoord and has even helped them reach the final of the UEFA Conference League.
Nelson is expected to return to Arsenal this summer and he will have just a year left on his contract.
It is very likely that he will be sold, but if he can show Arteta everything he has learned from Van Persie over the last few months, maybe, just maybe, he may get another chance at Arsenal next season.