Arsenal’s potential return to Europa League football next season must give Reiss Nelson another chance to shine at the Emirates. Especially after Nicolas Pepe’s recent dreadful performances.
The Englishman has spent the season on loan at Feyenoord for this campaign and has made a name for himself in the UEFA Europa Conference League. He has played so well that he has guided his team into the final of the competition against Jose Mourinho’s AS Roma.
The Gunners will need a lot of depth ahead of next year due to the likelihood of Europa League football after Arsenal’s damning 2-0 defeat at the hand of Newcastle. Nelson deserves to be given another opportunity to impress in a red and white shirt.
Nelson joined Feyenoord on a season-long loan move from the Gunners and has started to find good form for the Eredivisie side. He had struggled at the start of the season, but he has finally begun to stamp his marker and impress fans of both Arsenal and Feyenoord.
This is Nelson’s second loan since breaking into the first team from the Hale End academy as he played in the Bundesliga for Hoffenheim during the 2018/19 campaign before returning to Arsenal. Since his return from the first loan, he failed to break into Arteta’s side, which is why he is currently on loan at Feyenoord for the season.
Nelson initially struggled during the early days of his Feyenoord loan, and the Dutch sides’ manager Arne Slot explained why. Speaking about Nelson, Slot said: “Nelson had participated in almost all training sessions at Arsenal, but he experiences the training here as a bit more intense.
“He suffered an overuse injury and so he is not here. Whether he will make it to PSV [at the weekend] remains to be seen. At least not as a starting player.”
However, in the second half of the season, Nelson has excelled. This was proven by his excellent performances in the UEFA Europa Conference League, where Nelson has contributed to goals in both the quarter-final and semi-final.
Arsenal will need to strengthen in the wing position as Pepe’s recent disastrous performances on the right-hand side have signalled that he will not be at the club beyond this campaign. According to the Evening standard Arsenal will sit down with the winger and his agent at the end of the season to discuss his future Pepe has two years left on his deal and is expected to leave in the summer.
This should allow Nelson to be given another chance at Arsenal especially if there is no Champions League football. Edu will need to strengthen in other areas of the team to improve the squad depth, meaning he will be able to save money by keeping Nelson at the club.
Mikel Arteta will need to reshape his team if the Gunners are going to be serious contenders to get back in the Champions League next season. Nelson replacing Pepe will certainly be a good place to start.