Speaking in his press conference on Thursday, Mikel Arteta finally explained why Reiss Nelson has been absent from Arsenal squads recently.

Reiss Nelson of Arsenal celebrates his goal during the UEFA Europa League match between Molde and Arsenal on November 26, 2020 in Molde. Photo: Marius Simensen / BILDBYRAN
Reiss Nelson of Arsenal celebrates his goal during the UEFA Europa League match between Molde and Arsenal on November 26, 2020. Photo: Marius Simensen / BILDBYRAN

Ever since he came off after providing an assist against Rapid Vienna, Reiss Nelson has dropped off the radar in terms of Arsenal minutes.

Initially, reports suggested he’d picked up a head injury, but that was only meant to last for a week or so. Almost a month later, he still hasn’t made a single squad, let alone an appearance on the pitch.

With Arsenal not officially confirming an injury, it was starting to look like Nelson was being excluded for some other reason. However, Mikel Arteta confirmed on Thursday that the 21-year-old has a muscular issue, admitting he should’ve clarified that earlier.

“He had a little niggle he’s not been 100%,” Arteta confirmed. “He’s had a muscular issue. He’s been in and out of training, he’s not been 100%.

“It’s a shame because I felt he was getting into his performance levels, he started to have some really good games and he was starting to build that momentum. This little injury set him back a little bit. But I think he’s been much better.

“No (it’s not to do with a January transfer). Only it’s my mistake then, not clarifying the situation [and] what is happening. But yeah, he’s not been 100% fit. That’s the reason why he’s been out and he’s not been featuring with the squad.”

In a way, the news is a relief. It’s good to hear Nelson is still in Arteta’s good books and it’s just a minor injury keeping him out. As long as it doesn’t develop into anything more serious, we should start to see the winger involved again soon enough.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.