Arsenal youngster Reiss Nelson is faced with a potentially career-defining period this summer with the England U21 international nearing the end of his contract in north London.
Important piece of info on Reiss Nelson (and a mea culpa). His contract expires in 2022, Arsenal do not have an option as was reported at the time. It does not run until 2023 as is suggested on websites such as Transfermarkt.
Extension offer on the table, as reported yesterday.
— James Benge (@jamesbenge) July 2, 2021
As reported by CBS Sports’ James Benge, Nelson’s contract comes to completion the summer after the upcoming 2021-22 Premier League campaign. More importantly, the Gunners do not have an option to extend his deal a further year.
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Torrid time at Arsenal for Nelson
It has hardly been a period to remember for Nelson at his boyhood club. Coming into the youth fold in 2007 at the age of seven, the buzz around Nelson as he rose through the ranks at Arsenal’s Hale End academy was that the club had a real gem on their hands. But that promise shown at youth level has not translated to his full professional career at the Emirates outfit.
Nelson made his full debut for the club back in 2017-18 making sixteen total appearances, including eight in the Europa League. He then embarked on a successful loan spell with Bundesliga outfit TSG 1899 Hoffenheim under the wing of Julian Nagelsmann in 2018-19, scoring 7-goals and appearing a combined 29-times across all competitions, though only featuring in Nagelsmann’s starting XI on just five occasions.
Since his return to Arsenal, the native of Elephant and Castle has featured just thirty-one times between 2019-2021, hitting just one goal in seventeen Premier League outings and the bulk of his end product coming in the domestic cups.
Having turned down the chance to go on loan at the beginning of the 2020-21 season in favor of fighting for his place in the first team, Nelson failed to give boss Mikel Arteta a moment of pause. All told Nelson logged just 69-minutes of Premier League action during the entire campaign but made four appearances in the Europa League while adding a goal and an assist in the process.
Interest from clubs to give Nelson a pathway for further development
There could be a lifeline for Nelson this summer should he decide to turn down the contract extension left on the table by Arsenal. Rumored interest from Greek giants Olympiacos could offer a career path where not only would he be in with a real chance of being first-choice under Pedro Martins, but guaranteed exposure to European football which is not on offer at Arsenal this coming campaign.
Nelson and the club could also seek interest from smaller Premier League clubs as well, with Norwich coming to mind given their sale of influential right-winger Emiliano Buendia to Aston Villa early on in the summer window despite the impressive business done for Werder Bremen’s Kosovan international Milot Rashica.
Other reported interest from multiple Bundesliga clubs has been mentioned recently as well, and with his development hardly being prioritized by the club – and with Mikel Arteta being apologetic with the paltry opportunities he has had under him – the best deal possible for both parties may be full divorce. But for a player that was once thought as highly of as Jadon Sancho, Reiss Nelson still has plenty of time left to make his mark.
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