Reiss Nelson could still go out on loan before the end of the January transfer window, according to Mikel Arteta in his latest press conference.
With just a few days left in the January transfer window, Reiss Nelson’s future remains uncertain. Currently, he’s not even particularly strongly linked with a loan to any particular club, but it certainly seems like a move could be on the cards.
Nelson hasn’t featured at all since his start against Newcastle United on January 9th, five games ago. It’s not just that he hasn’t made it onto the pitch, but he hasn’t even been involved in a matchday squad.
When asked specifically about Nelson, Mikel Arteta responded that conversations are ongoing and they’ll ‘make a decision’ before next Monday’s deadline.
“That’s a conversation that we are having with the players that are not having a lot of time,” Arteta admitted. “Obviously, we want to keep their development going and we will make a decision in the next three days with some of them on what the best thing is to do.
“We try to be clear and transparent with what the plans are and their roles in the team and after that, we decide on the best thing for the players and the club.”
Nelson has made nine senior appearances (five starts) in the entire campaign so far. Part of that has been due to injury, but he’s now fit and still not playing.
It’s not as if the 21-year-old’s performances have been particularly bad. He has a goal and an assist in his five starts and looked bright on a number of occasions.
But he just has so much competition from Bukayo Saka, Nicolas Pepe, Willian, Gabriel Martinelli, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. There are only two spots for the six of them, so even if Arteta rotates every match, he has two spare players.
There was talk of a potential loan to the Championship earlier this month, which would hopefully provide Nelson with plenty of game time. We saw the effect a similar move had on Emile Smith Rowe last season. They’ll need to get moving quickly though.