Arsenal loanee Reiss Nelson scored on his first competitive start for Feyenoord on Thursday, after a long wait for that opportunity in the lineup.
Reiss Nelson joined Feyenoord from Arsenal on loan over the summer, but it took a while for him to get involved with his new team.
At first, Nelson was completely unavailable for match action, with reports of issues with the intensity of Feyenoord’s regime and his own fitness problems.
Since the winger’s first appearance for the club in mid-October, he’s come off the bench in every single one of their league games since. He got his first assist in early November in one of those substitute appearances.
But until Thursday, he hadn’t started a competitive match for Feyenoord in all competitions.
Nelson’s eventual chance came against Maccabi Haifa in the Europa Conference League against Maccabi Haifa. Feyenoord had already topped the group, so it was a very low-risk game for the manager to introduce him in.
The Arsenal winger ended up making the most of the opportunity by scoring his first goal for the club. He picked up the ball outside the area and carried it into the box, before curling a finish into the bottom right.
At the time, the goal gave Feyenoord a 2-0 lead, and ended up being the winner after Maccabi Haifa pulled one back in injury time.
By that point, Nelson had already left the field, completing 79 minutes. He won three of his four individual duels, completed three of four dribbles, and 86% of his passes in a strong overall display.
Reiss Nelson first Feyenoord start – MOTM pic.twitter.com/Xfi5hrfMMD
— . (@jr1of1) December 9, 2021
Speaking after the game, Nelson seemed delighted to have got his goal.
“As an attacker, it’s always nice to score,” he said. “Getting my first goal for the club, it’s a relief, and I’m just really happy to get it tonight.
“I felt like I’ve been ready [to start]. I think I’ve been proving myself in training, working really hard off the pitch, on the pitch.
“So tonight, I knew it was a night where I could prove myself and show myself. I was very excited for tonight and I’m just happy with the outcome…for the three points.”
You can watch the goal in the highlights package here.