Reiss Nelson got another substitute appearance for Hoffenheim on Saturday, as he continues to see his minutes limited under Julian Nagelsmann.
Arsenal’s teenage loan winger came on for the last five minutes of Hoffenheim’s 2-2 draw with Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday. It was a disappointing result for the side, given they were winning until minutes before Nelson’s introduction, and wasted their chance to overtake Gladbach and Wolfsburg into fifth place.
A win would also have put them hot on the heels of Eintracht Frankfurt in the Champions League places, just one point behind. Instead, they’re three points away having played a game more.
From an Arsenal fan point of view, it’s a shame Nelson didn’t get more of an opportunity to change the game. In the last couple of games, Nagelsmann has only introduced the winger after Hoffenheim have gone behind or thrown away a lead, when it’s going to be harder than ever to find the time and space to have an impact.
The last time Nagelsmann brought Nelson on when Hoffenheim were winning, 1-0 against Hertha Berlin, the 19-year-old scored their second and killed the game. Yet the head coach continues to wait until they lose the lead to sub him on. He’s using the Arsenal man reactively rather than proactively, which is never going to be as effective.
With the opportunities he’s had, Nelson is doing a good job. He has seven goals in 607 league minutes, a goal every 87 minutes in one of Europe’s top five leagues. He just hasn’t been on the pitch as consistently as he would’ve liked.
From a development standpoint, he still would’ve learned a lot from a year of Nagelsmann’s coaching, it’s just disappointing his game time on the pitch hasn’t been better managed.