Although Reiss Nelson reckons that recent comparisons draw between him and Neymar are a stretch, he admits that he would be delighted if he could get anywhere near the Paris Saint-Germain star’s ability during his career.
Arsenal legend Martin Keown recently claimed that he sees shades of Neymar in Nelson’s style of play and while the 17-year-old acknowledges this comparison is a bit of a stretch at the moment, he’d be delighted to get anywhere near the ex-Barcelona superstar’s level.
“That is a very big stretch to say something like that,” Nelson told Goal. “Neymar is world-class and if I can get anything close to him in near future, I’d be delighted.
“I’m still young and anything can happen. I think a lot of the older boys have helped me, especially those who have broken into the first-team (from the academy).
“People like Jack (Wilshere), he has helped me a lot. Alex Iwobi has told me to stay grounded. I’ve got a really good family that helps me as well.
“Whenever I think it’s getting a bit much I’ll go to my family and they will sit me down and bring me back to earth.”
Neymar is only 25 but has scored 184 career goals since his days playing for Brazilian club, Santos.
This season alone, he’s already scored nine goals and provided eight assists in 10 matches for new club PSG, which he moved to from Barcelona this summer for a record transfer fee of £200m (€222m).
With this in mind, you can understand why Nelson almost seems embarrassed by the comparison to the Brazilian. He’s not only eight years younger but has a long way to go on the pitch. However, he is an immensely exciting player to watch and clearly very talented. Even if it’s early days.
So far this season, Nelson has scored six goals in five Premier League 2 appearances for the reserves and made two starts for the senior team – one in the League Cup and the other in the Europa League.
Something tells me these will be the first of many.