Reiss Nelson has stated that David Luiz has become a considerable voice to call upon since his breakthrough into Arsenal’s first-team, with the centre-back encouraging him to develop certain aspects of his game.
The 19-year-old has made two appearances for The Gunners so far this season, featuring in the starting eleven against Newcastle United and Burnley before Nicolas Pepe’s introduction against Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur.
A highly thought of individual who represents the latest bright talent to come out of the youth setup, he featured sixteen times during Arsene Wenger’s final season at the club, showing enough to suggest that he can be a real star of the future. Indeed, a productive loan spell at Hoffenheim saw him net seven goals in 29 appearances, furthering his development.
Experienced team-mates helping Nelson adjust after first-team breakthrough
Fans are now desperate to see him continue to gain valuable game time under Unai Emery’s tutelage, keeping him in and around the first team setup where he can learn from the experienced heads around him. Conversely, Nelson revealed that they have been instrumental in helping him transition into the first-team, enabling him to gain confidence in his own abilities while helping him to target areas for improvement.
Having missed a decent chance against Burnley, he disclosed that former-Chelsea defender David Luiz has been encouraging him to take more risks in the final third, taking opportunities to try and score rather than shying away in fear of missing.
“It’s a great feeling to have a lot of big characters in the team who are willing to help the younger players come through and do well,” Nelson told the club’s official website. “You see the likes of Laca, Auba and Granit who are all big players in the team.”
“David Luiz is a new addition and he’s always talking to me, always taking about the mental side of football. You can have a bad pass or bad shot, but you need to do this to take the risk. You need to shoot to score the goal. If it goes wide, you just need to keep going and keep your head up. I think that helps you a lot.”
‘To be starting in the Premier League is a big achievement’, reflects youngster
Reflecting on his campaign thus far, the 19-year-old was quick to highlight his achievements having worked through the ranks despite a sea of summer activity at the club.
“To be starting in the Premier League is a big achievement. I think that’s a very big statement from the manager as well, to play me in the first two games with the likes of Pepe and Mkhitaryan, world-class players, on the bench.”
“I thought the manager would have eased me into it, but I did well against Real Madrid and in a couple of other pre-season games so when the chance came, I took it well. Newcastle was a tough game; I think I did well but I didn’t create as much as I wanted to. Against Burnley I struggled, and I got caught on the ball a couple times.”
“That’s the thing with football, you have some good games, you have some bad games, but the main thing is that you go back, you recap and next week you’re ready to fight again.”
Nelson’s demeanour and mental attitude towards his development would appear to be far more advanced than his youthful age suggests, and it should stand him in good stead for an important year ahead.
Alongside the experienced heads in the dressing room, he would appear to be in the best possible position to hit the ground running.