Reiss Nelson scored his seventh Bundesliga goal of the season on Sunday, after coming off the bench in a 2-0 Hoffenheim win over Hertha Berlin.
Nelson has had a couple of minor injury problems since the turn of the year, as well as missing a game through disciplinary issues that have now been resolved. As a result, he’d been limited to just 74 minutes on the pitch before this weekend.
Once again, the 19-year-old had to settle for a place on the bench against Hertha Berlin, but he made the most of his chance after Julian Nagelsmann introduced him for the final 20 minutes of the match:
The teenager also completed all six of his attempted passes, won a free kick, made a tackle and won three out of his four individual duels. Not a bad cameo showing, but we’ll have to wait and see if it’s enough to get him his first league start since mid-December.
Another positive in Nelson’s performance was his off-the-ball runs. The goal is the obvious example, but he found a number of other goalscoring positions even when the ball didn’t come. Serge Gnabry recently talked about how Julian Nagelsmann had developed that side of his game, so hopefully the same is true for the Arsenal loanee.
Nelson’s seventh goal of the season means he’s now scored more than every member of the Arsenal squad bar Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Scoring one goal every 84 minutes on average, he could certainly add something to the team next season, even if it is from the bench.
We’ll have to wait and see what Unai Emery makes of Nelson’s campaign when he returns this summer.