Reiss Nelson is looking forward to the season with Hoffenheim, after making a strong early impression with a debut goal for the Bundesliga club.
On Saturday, Nelson made a dramatic entrance from the bench against Dusseldorf. With 18 minutes to go, manager Julian Nagelsmann threw on his new signing to try and save the game, with Hoffenheim 1-0 down. Nelson grasped the opportunity with both hands, scoring an equaliser in the 86th minute.
Sadly, Hoffenheim then fell behind again two minutes later, and the Arsenal loanee couldn’t save them a second time. Nonetheless, it was a very strong start for the 18-year-old, and he’s glad to be playing.
“I’m getting the experience under Julian, under new players, playing the game and getting new tactics from everyone involved,” he said. “Hopefully then to push on to make the first team and show what I can do, score goals, create goals and just be a great player for the team.”
Nelson needed to get off the mark at senior level, after making a number of appearances without scoring last season. It’s often difficult to make that first breakthrough, but hopefully now he can push on, and transfer his bags of academy goals and assists to first-team football.
Thankfully the goal has come early in Nelson’s Hoffenheim career, which should help his image with the fans and management. That, in turn, should lead to more consistent appearances, something many Arsenal loanees struggled to get last season. We’ll see.