Close-up with Reiss Nelson : Arsenal youngster opens up in a special interview


Arsenal academy do posses some quality and potential talents and one of them is Reiss Nelson. The young academy player has been developing himself at the London Colney under the guidance of Steve Gatting and recently he revealed his thoughts on his career so far and life at the club.

On season so far:

“This season has started really well for me and that has followed on from a really good summer with England when I travelled to Azerbaijan for the European Under-17 Championship.

It was unfortunate that we went out to Spain in the quarter-finals as I think we deserved more, but I was really happy that I scored nine goals in 10 games. I was told by the manager that my job was to concentrate on scoring goals and that the team would be set up to give me the opportunities, and thankfully I managed to put away a lot of the chances my team-mates created.”

On his goal against Ludogorets:

Reiss was so happy with the goal he scored in the UEFA Youth league and also praised his captain Krystian Bielik for an exquisite pass.

On this season and experience:

“I think this year I’m really benefitting from the fact that I was full time at the training ground from last year, when I was still a schoolboy. Arsenal and my school worked together so I was able to train full time. My family also moved to Cockfosters so I didn’t need to travel up from south London, where we used to live,” Nelson revealed.

He also thinks that it helped him as a football player and he concentrates more now. Reiss is also delighted with his experience as he trained with the first team. The young ace thinks training with the first team is harder and easier at the same time. It’s harder because of the high intensity and fast movement, that requires optimum concentration. It’s easy on the other side because the accuracy of the players results a better count to the runs and passes he makes.


The challenge is to keep standards high and every one of the younger players training with the first team says the same thing. Reiss Nelson feels that it boosts team’s development. Nelson is trying to improve his own game with the help of coaches, but he really enjoys being a coach too, as he coaches his 6 year old nephew.

Rapid Fire:

When did you join the Arsenal academy?
In the under-eights.

Who has been the biggest influence on your career?
My family, particularly my brother.

What’s the best aspect of your game?
Dribbling or one-on-ones.

Which team did you support as a boy?

Who did you pretend to be in the playground?
Zinedine Zidane.

Which current player would you most like to play against?

If you could score any goal from history, which one would it be?
Zidane’s left-foot volley. (against Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League final)

The teenager has so far made his coaches proud, Arsenal’s reserve coach Kwame Ampadu is delighted and has high hopes on Nelson. Only time will tell whether he reaches his promised strata at the Arsenal, but there is no doubt that Reiss Nelson has the potential to succeed.


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Photo by joshjdss