Reiss Nelson was forced off with what appeared to be a muscle injury during Saturday’s friendly against Juventus, with Mikel Arteta hinting it could be bad news.
Reiss Nelson made a bright start for Arsenal in their friendly against Juventus on Saturday, following a couple of good individual performances in the other friendlies over the World Cup break.
Yet that momentum appeared to come crashing to a halt midway through the first half, as Nelson went down with what looked like a muscle injury.
More concerning than his immediate substitution was the reaction of some of Nelson’s teammates, with Granit Xhaka, Eddie Nketiah, Fabio Vieira, and Martin Odegaard all consoling the winger as he left the pitch.
After the game, Mikel Arteta admitted they don’t know how serious the problem is yet, but the immediate need for a substitution wasn’t a good sign.
“We don’t know the extent of the injury,” Arteta said. “The fact he had to leave the pitch immediately is not good news, especially someone like Reiss, who is really powerful and fast.
“Let’s see what happens. We know what we have to do and that hasn’t changed the [transfer] plans.”
Even before Nelson’s injury, the latest transfer rumours suggested Arsenal were prioritising a move for Mykhaylo Mudryk of Shakhtar Donetsk, with other wingers on their shortlist. So from that point of view, it’s true that not much should have changed.
Emile Smith Rowe is also edging closer to fitness, at which point he’ll be a good alternative to Gabriel Martinelli.
For now, there’s a bit of pressure on the Brazil international to get back into the groove in north London.