Reiss Nelson spent three weeks with Tottenham when he was a youngster but as soon as the call came from Arsenal he was outta there.
The Arsenal youngster signed a new deal this week before heading off to Hoffenheim for what should be an exciting season on loan in the Bundesliga.
Scouted by Tottenham when he was just a tot, Nelson began training with Spurs but was only there three weeks when Arsenal called his family.
“I’m an Arsenal fan, everyone in my family is, so it was not a hard decision,” Nelson recalled.
“When I was growing up, I used to have loads of Thierry jerseys hanging on my wall”, he told Arsenal.com before he left.
“My mum used to work really hard to buy those shirts so when I got one I could wear, I used to have it on every day. School, parties, playing football with my friends… if I you saw me around London in those days, I’d be reppin’ Henry’s famous 14.
“I never thought the day would come where people had my name on the back of their shirt but since I’ve broken into the first team, I’ve seen a few on matchdays around the Emirates and obviously in the dressing room, too. When you see your name hanging there with all the other footballers in the dressing room, it just makes you so proud.
“I was only nine years old when I was first spotted by Arsenal. Back then, I would wake up early to get the train to Catford with my brother three times a week. I was there for about two months playing for a team called Moonshot and then I actually got scouted by Tottenham.
“I was at Tottenham for three or four weeks, and then a phonecall from Arsenal came and I went to Arsenal’s training ground. After the first session, they wanted to sign me so happy days. I didn’t look back.”
“I am delighted that we have succeeded in winning over a young player with such extraordinary skills,” said Alexander Rosen, Hoffenheim’s director of football after the deal was finally announced.
“After the long-term failures of Nadiem Amiri, Lukas Rupp and Dennis Geiger, and the ligament injury of Kerem Demirbay, we decided to sign up for another alternative in the attacking midfield to successfully handle the large number of competitive matches in the coming weeks. Reiss Nelson will give us a lot more options with his variable stakes in the eighth position, as an outside winger or a hanging top.”
About the move, Nelson added, “Not only do I want to accumulate and develop match practice at TSG at the highest level, I’m more confident that I can help the club with my qualities to achieve its ambitious goals in three competitions.”
Nelson has been given the prestigious number 9 shirt, and his move, according to the official Hoffenheim website, has ‘created quite a stir’.