Arsenal have announced that winger Reiss Nelson has signed a new long-term contract with the club. Nelson, who has been a part of the club since he was nine years old, has signed a four-year contract, with the option for a further year.
The 2022/23 season was considered to be a breakthrough season for Nelson. Though the winger began the season on the periphery, he soon managed to work his way into Mikel Arteta’s plans, culminating in a spectacular last-minute winner at home to Bournemouth.
Arteta has long been an admirer of the winger, having worked with him, briefly, during his time with the club’s academy.
After breaking through under Arsène Wenger, Nelson has struggled to find game time in the first team. A commendable showing at Hoffenheim in the 2018/19 season impressed then-head coach Unai Emery, who promoted him to the first team alongside Joe Willock and Eddie Nketiah.
Nelson then made sporadic appearances for the first team. He was in and out of the team under Mikel Arteta, but soon found himself out of favour after the team were knocked out of the Europa League and League Cup.
Nelson spent last season on loan at Feyenoord in the Eredivisie. Though he made 32 appearances in all competitions, the forward was not high in the picking order of manager, Arne Slot.
Upon the completion of the deal, Nelson returned to Arsenal. Though many clubs registered an interest in the young winger, Nelson decided to remain with the club for the remainder of the 2022/23 season.
Opportunities were scarce. Bukayo Saka had since established himself as the club’s first-choice right-winger, while Gabriel Martinelli was the club’s de-facto left-winger. Despite these obvious obstacles, Nelson slowly began to play his way into the manager’s thoughts.
Appearances in the Europa League were punctuated with turns in the League Cup. However, it was the aforementioned last-gasp winner at home to Bournemouth that cemented his name into Arsenal folklore.
Though the club did not eventually go on to win the Premier League, Nelson more than played his part. Nelson ended the season with just three goals, but the winger has since proven himself to be a vital part of Mikel Arteta’s plans.
With plans underway for the summer window, Nelson could prove to be a useful player in the squad. Focus is being paid towards a midfield overhaul, as well as the addition of one or two defenders alongside them. Cover has been discussed for Bukayo Saka, but with his new deal in tow, Nelson could prove to be much welcome cover for the position himself, potentially saving the club the need to recruit in this area too.
Nelson’s contract is the latest in a long-line of Arsenal deals that have been signed. Gabriel Magalhães signed fresh terms midway through last season, as did Gabriel Martinelli, while Bukayo Saka put pen to paper on a new four-year contract in the last few weeks of the league season. The club are also hoping to announce a new deal for defender William Saliba any day now too.