Monday, September 26, 2022

Arsenal Willing To Loan Out This Attacking Starlet: The Best Option For Mikel Arteta?

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Jack O’Brien
A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.

According to David Ornstein, as cited by The Sun, Reiss Nelson could be on the verge of a temporary Arsenal exit. The winger has found it challenging to break into the team, with Mikel Arteta open to loaning him out so that he can get some much-needed game-time under his belt. Nelson is already courted by many clubs, although a potential move away from Emirates is currently at an early stage.

Examining Reiss Nelson’s 2019/20 Campaign

Last summer, Nelson returned from his successful loan spell at TSG Hoffenheim with a lot of promise. He was expected to make a breakthrough at the start of the campaign, further supported by marquee signing Nicolas Pepe.

Unfortunately, Nelson failed to replicate his Bundesliga performances in the Premier League. He simply struggled to cope with the pressure, which affected his overall productivity.

Indeed, the 20-year-old tried to make things happen but always lacked the end product. As a result, he found himself trailing Bukayo Saka, Nicolas Pepe, and even Gabriel Martinelli in the pecking order, featuring in just over 600 minutes of league football. Nelson’s only goal of the season came in the impressive win over Liverpool in June.

Reiss Nelson could be on the verge of a temporary Arsenal exit - Not doing well.
Arsenal’s Spanish head coach Mikel Arteta (L) chats with Arsenal’s English midfielder Reiss Nelson at the final whistle during the English Premier League football match between Bournemouth and Arsenal at the Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth, southern England on December 26, 2019. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

What Has Changed In The New Season?

Following a disappointing 2019/20 campaign, Nelson faces an even tougher challenge in the new season for multiple reasons.

Bukayo Saka, in particular, has significantly improved and is being considered as an attacking option by Mikel Arteta. Also, Arsenal have brought in the experienced Willian to aid the offensive unit further. But more importantly, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has now become a guaranteed starter in the left-wing role, making it almost impossible for Nelson to break into the starting lineup.

We also have to consider the potential return of the injured Martinelli, which could take a further toll on the Englishman’s overall game-time. Hence, a move away from Emirates makes sense for Nelson this summer.

Do Arsenal Need A Replacement?

Despite his poor form, Nelson’s departure could undoubtedly create a void in the attacking unit. Fortunately, the Gunners have strong depth in the wider attacking department, especially with Aubameyang now operating as a left-winger.

Willian has already become a key component in the Arsenal lineup, while the return of Martinelli should nullify the need for an extra winger. However, Arteta simply cannot afford an injury crisis, which may force the club to call up a few inexperienced academy talents.

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