Mikel Arteta has been singing the praises of Reiss Nelson in a way that makes you think the player might just have a future at Arsenal after all.

ORLANDO, FLORIDA - JULY 20: Gabriel Jesus #9, Granit Xhaka #34, and Reiss Nelson #4 of Arsenal celebrate winning a Florida Cup friendly against the Orlando City at Exploria Stadium on July 20, 2022 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FLORIDA – JULY 20: Gabriel Jesus #9, Granit Xhaka #34, and Reiss Nelson #4 of Arsenal celebrate winning a Florida Cup friendly against the Orlando City at Exploria Stadium on July 20, 2022 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Reiss Nelson spend last season on loan with Feyenoord where he scored four and assisted seven in 32 games.

It looked for all the world like Arsenal would sell him when his loan was over, but a quad injury, that has kept him out until the game against Bodo/Glimt in the Europa League, scuppered any plans Arsenal might have had in that area.

We think the potential is there and we think we’ve seen something in Reiss that is special.

Listening to Mikel Arteta talk about Nelson before the game, however, you’d be forgiven for thinking the club never had any intention of letting him go, even with him now in the final year of his contract.

Arteta spoke about a player who had responded to the things asked of him by the manager and who could very well have a ‘special’ future at Arsenal, after all.

“Yeah, 100 per cent,” Arteta replied when asked by Standard Sport if Nelson could be offered a new contract.

“That is why he is here, because we want to have that opportunity with him. He was willing to take that opportunity and again it’s down to him to show it now on the pitch.

ORLANDO, FLORIDA - JULY 20: Reiss Nelson #24 of Arsenal collides with Ruan #2 of Orlando City during a Florida Cup friendly  at Exploria Stadium on July 20, 2022 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FLORIDA – JULY 20: Reiss Nelson #24 of Arsenal collides with Ruan #2 of Orlando City during a Florida Cup friendly at Exploria Stadium on July 20, 2022 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

“Out there [in training] he is showing it every day, how he is working, a lot of things that he has changed and improved in many things that, in our opinion, could have been better. Now he is on the right track, now he needs to perform.

“After the spell that he had last year on loan, we wanted him back to see if there are any changes, and there’s a prospect that we can really take to the next level.

“We think the potential is there and we think we’ve seen something in Reiss that is special.”

Reiss has been at Arsenal for 13 years, signing for the club when he was just nine-years-old. He’s been around so long, it’s easy to forget that he is still only 22.

Nelson is expected to start against Bodo/Glimt.

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.