Reiss Nelson has hinted at a possible return to Arsenal in January, despite expectations that he’d spend the full season with Hoffenheim.
Nelson made his mark for the England u21s on Thursday, scoring a cheeky flick and assisting another goal after coming off the bench for the final 20 minutes against Andorra. After the game, the 18-year-old spoke to talkSPORT about his decision to leave Arsenal on loan.
“It was difficult,” he said (via Metro). “Arsenal is my boyhood club, they’re a big part of my life. At the end of the day, I’m at an age where I want to play football and Hoffenheim is where that [chance] was. I had to get up and be strong, be independent and take my chance in Germany.”
Then, surprisingly, the youngster hinted he could come back to Arsenal sooner rather than later.
“I’m just here to play my football in Germany,” he continued. “Hopefully, I’ll come back in a couple of months – if it’s a year so be it – ready to play in Arsenal’s first team.”
Before these comments, the assumption was that Nelson expected to spend the full season on loan. Arsenal described it as a ‘season-long’ loan when announcing the deal. However, the implication here is that there’s a recall clause in the forward’s contract. He’s clearly hoping his parent club might activate it in the winter window.
That’s not completely out of the question, with the way Nelson is performing so far. He has two goals in just 98 minutes for Hoffenheim, whilst Unai Emery doesn’t seem completely convinced of his best wide options just yet, chopping and changing from game to game.
At first, Mkhitaryan was on the left, then Iwobi took his place, then Aubameyang got a few games, and now Iwobi is getting another chance. Left-wing is one of the least consistent positions on the team, as well as being Nelson’s best position.
Barring a key injury, it’s still probably more likely the youngster will spend the season in Germany. It’s good to know Arsenal have the option to bring him back if necessary though.
We’ll leave you with that goal he scored on Thursday: