Arsenal signed Nikolaj Duus Möller right at the end of the summer transfer window, and he’s looking like a strong addition to the u23 team.
Joining an Arsenal academy team severely underperforming in the early weeks of the season, Möller is having a positive impact so far.
Scoring three goals and assisting one in his four games, the 18-year-old helped the u23s to their first league win of the year against Blackburn over the weekend.
The striker then played the full 90 on Tuesday against Gillingham’s first-team and scored a penalty in the shootout as they qualified for the next round of the EFL Trophy.
Immediately, Möller seems to be developing a positive relationship with Folarin Balogun. The two forwards both benefit from the other’s presence in the team, and they’ve already linked up for a couple of goals.
We saw the same thing with Tyreece John-Jules last season. When he was in the side with Balogun, they played off each other to good effect. When John-Jules went away on loan, Balogun’s form faltered, and the team badly struggled.
This isn’t to put Balogun down. He was still Arsenal’s most dangerous forward even in those barren periods, he just can’t do it all alone without any support. Thankfully, he now has that support in the form of 6’4″ former Malmo striker Möller.
Even before he joined, Möller’s former coaches highlighted his all-around game as his biggest strength. Whilst he is a good finisher if given the opportunity, he loves to get involved in the build-up.
We’ve already seen the striker create plenty of good chances in his appearances so far, as well as proving himself as a strong target man.
Here’s a quick video of his goals, assists, and chances created, as well as a compilation of his hold-up play against senior opposition in Gillingham.
Arsenal summer signing Nikolaj Möller / @nikolajdmoller
4 games, 3 goals, 1 assist, here’s a quick comp of his PL2 highlights, followed by some footage of his hold-up play and penalty from last night #AFC pic.twitter.com/MvOIfhsmnE
— Dan Critchlow (@afcDW) November 11, 2020
One quick thing to note, before you get too excited, is that Möller is ineligible for the Europa League group stages. As he only joined in the summer, he hasn’t completed two years at Arsenal (necessary to join the B-list), and there’s no space in the main squad.
He can play in the Premier League, the League Cup, and the FA Cup. So perhaps if Arsenal get a lower-league draw in January, that might be his best shot at any first-team action this season. Otherwise, he’ll get plenty of chances to play with the academy.