Reiss Nelson has revealed he would “love to commit” to Arsenal and sign a new deal to stay at his boyhood club.
The Londoner, now 22, joined the Gunners academy aged nine and made his first-team debut in 2017. The England U21 star has since gone out on loan to Hoffenheim and Feyenoord to broaden his footballing education.
But after three appearances in the Europa League this season, Nelson came off the bench to score his first Premier League goals since July 2020 in the 5-0 win over Nottingham Forest which took Arsenal back to the top of the table.
“I’ve never doubted myself at this football club,” he said. “Arsenal is a team that I’ve been at since I was eight years old and I have a very, very strong bond and love for the club. Of course, there’s been times where I’ve been a bit down when I haven’t played or been on the bench, but my plan has never been for me to leave the club or say that I have no future here and I will do everything possible to get there.
“I only have some months left on my contract but at this moment of time, getting a new deal, of course, that would be amazing and I would love to commit to the club. But I’m just really, really focused on doing everything I possible just to do the right stuff and if I get to play for the team to do well, of course, it’s hard coming in for 5-10 minutes and of course, I would love to play much, much longer.
“But any opportunity I get, I’m going to try and take and just do my very best and just keep helping the team really.”
Arteta embraced Nelson and gave advice after his first game in charge at Bournemouth in December 2017 like the way his mentor Pep Guardiola handled Raheem Sterling.
Nelson added: “I spoke with the boss before the start of the season and he was very clear with me. He said he’s seen a transition in my game and my attitude and just my whole profile as a player, which he really likes and he wants to bring that into the team and he thinks that can really benefit the team and there was no talks with me about leaving in the summer.”
Nelson made 21 appearances in the Eredivisie for Feyenoord last season and helped them to a European final. “I feel like I’ve matured, I’ve learned,” he said. “I think it’s helped my game quite a lot playing in big games against big teams like Roma in the final of the Conference League and especially going to teams like Ajax with atmospheres I haven’t really experienced, which only helped me.
“So yeah, I’m grateful for Feyenoord for giving me the opportunity to play and it’s just made me much more hungry to go back to Arsenal and play much more now.
“I feel like I’m at a level now where I’m still not at the rhythm that I would like to be and I just want to get to a rhythm where I’m playing regularly.
“I want to get into a full swing of things and actually get into my stride and feel confident every time I get the ball and every time I get in a one-v-one opportunity to take my man on and take my opportunity and do something well for the team.”
Nelson, now 22, joined the Gunners academy aged nine and made his first-team debut in 2017 and he has since gone out on loan to Hoffenheim and Feyenoord to broaden his footballing education