Thierry Henry speaks at length about Reiss Nelson’s exciting potential in his column for the Sun this week.
Henry reveals that when he was helping to coach the u18s at Arsenal, he watched Nelson a lot and he, as well as the other staff, felt as if the 17-year-old was simply wasting his time because he was ‘too good’ for them.
“I worked with Reiss when I was at the Arsenal Academy and I was so impressed with him. He has all the attributes to make it,” Henry wrote for the Sun.
“At the Academy, he was training and playing with the Under-18s — and he was only 16. But he was so good that, after two or three months, we felt he was wasting his time.
“He was not learning anything because he was too good for that standard.
“So he was moved up to the Under-23s so he could work with stronger and bigger guys.
“This kid has all the talent to be knocking on the door of the first team.”
Nelson made his competitive first team debut against Doncaster Rovers in the League Cup on Wednesday and while he didn’t have the best game, he was played out of position at wing-back, which Henry says is a ‘shame’.
The England youth international recently made it clear that while he’s currently happy just to be getting game time, he would like to play in a more advanced role in the future.
Henry claims in his column that Nelson could even be a no.10. However, this demonstrates exactly why the Arsenal legend no longer works at London Colney as a coach.
In 2016, the Frenchman left the Gunners (again) in favour of prioritising his job as a Sky Sports pundit. While he appeared to want to do both at the same time, the club allegedly gave him an ultimatum, which many of us agreed with since it seemed to be a conflict of interests.
It was messed up to hear Henry lambasting Arsenal and Arsene Wenger at the weekends, indirectly saying that he knew better than the boss, while running around with the same people he’d just criticised during the week.