Reiss Nelson opens up about dream of playing for Arsenal

Reiss Nelson opens up about dream of playing for Arsenal

The young Arsenal player has had an impressive start to life in the first team

Matt Dawson

Reiss Nelson is one of the most promising players to come out of the Arsenal academy in recent years, and after making his debut this season has been catching the eye of many. 

The 17-year-old has been mainly used as a right wing-back by Arsene Wenger, a role slightly different to the more attacking one he played in with the academy. Despite that, he's still been impressing. 

Nelson appeared in pre-season for the Gunners, and has also started in both the Carabao Cup and the Europa League so far this campaign.

Settling in

For Nelson, he has made the transition into the Arsenal first team look rather seamless, that's despite the change he describes training with the first team brings. He said: "It was different coming from Hale End to London Colney. The coaching is so much different and the environment." 

It's at London Colney where Nelson has been taken under the guidance of some of the other current first team squad. "Alex Iwobi has really helped me. He’s always making jokes and seeing I’m okay. Lacazette as well is a nice guy," Nelson revealed.

"Ozil, Hector [Bellerin] as well, those are the boys that have taken me in as a person and a footballer as well," he added. 

A dream

Getting to play for Arsenal is a dream come true for Nelson, who has grown up a Gunners' fan. Therefore to see supporters with his name and number on the back of their shirts is a surreal feeling for the youngster.

Nelson commented: "It’s a dream come true to see fans wearing Nelson 61 on the back. It’s something I’ve always dreamed of and now seeing it with my own eyes is amazing." 

He meanwhile expressed the pleasant surprise he's received this season of being fast tracked into Wenger's plans: "This season I wanted to start off as a young player that’s developing, get into the Under-23 squad, let alone pushing to be a first team player and in and around the first team. Everything has come so fast and I’m very grateful." 

Things could have been very different for Nelson however, who had a spell with Arsenal's fierce rivals Spurs before joining the Gunners'. "I was at Tottenham for three or four weeks I’d say, and then the phone call from Arsenal came in and I went to Arsenal’s training ground," he recalled.