Reiss Nelson is having some difficulties on loan with Feyenoord, contracting Covid-19 following a critical assessment from his manager.
When Feyenoord announced their squad to face Sparta Rotterdam on Sunday, Reiss Nelson was a notable absentee. The Arsenal loan winger has picked up Covid-19, leaving him unavailable for the side.
The timing is not great, to say the least. It took a long time for Nelson to break into the Feyenoord starting lineup, and he’d only just managed to do so with his first three league starts in their last three league games.
On top of that, Feyenoord boss Arne Slot was recently in the media challenging Nelson to up his game and deliver on his talent.
“The talent is there, but what Reiss still struggles with is creating big chances for himself or his teammates,” Slot said.
“You see a lot of skill, speed, and agility, but the final push is still missing. Then it’s just not a finish or just not an assist.
“The most difficult thing in football is to get the best out of your play. And if you play for Feyenoord, where you often end up in a promising position as a winger, you expect a higher yield.
“I did notice that against NEC, he looked for his direct opponent when he had the ball, which was lacking in the game with Vitesse.
“I think Reiss is much more of a creator than a finisher, and I’m convinced he’ll show he can do better.”
When a manager challenges you like that, you obviously want to get out on the pitch and show what you can do as soon as possible.
So it’s a shame Nelson instead has to watch on until he recovers.
The 22-year-old has made 17 appearances for Feyenoord this season in all competitions, with four starts and 13 substitute appearances.
He has one goal and one assist in those appearances, and there’s no doubt he needs to get those numbers up when he’s back.