James Maddison: Facts and stats of Arsenal-linked midfielder
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Three Premier League sides are eyeing a move for Arsenal youngster Reiss Nelson as uncertainty over his long-term future at the Emirates grows. Brentford, Crystal Palace and Brighton are all interested in the 21-year-old as well as several Bundesliga sides and Greek giants Olympiacos, according to CBS Sports.
Nelson is out of contract next summer and is yet to agree fresh terms with the Gunners, despite being offered an extension by the club.
With no sign of a breakthrough imminent, Arsenal must decide whether to cash in on their academy gradate or risk losing him for free end of the season.
Unlike other academy youngsters such as Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka, Nelson is yet to be handed a regular run of games by manager Mikel Arteta and made just two Premier League appearances last campaign. By contrast, Smith Rowe and Saka racked up a combined total of 52 Premier League appearances for the 2020/21 season.
Nelson has only ever been sent out on loan on one occasion and made a hugely positive impression at Bundesliga side Hoffenheim during the 2018/29 season.
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The 21-year-old scored seven goals and registered one assist in 23 German top-flight outings, becoming a key figure in their side.
Such was the impression made by the London-born attacker during his loan spell, former Hoffenheim manager Julian Nagelsmann said:
“He has great potential to develop. That’s why we loaned him in the first place. He’s an incredible player in one-on-one situations.
“It’s about growing in a healthy fashion for young players. It’s like being a musician. One good song can put bread on the table for a few weeks but it’s not about just being a one-hit wonder.
“It’s about being stable for a long time, in the best case doing that over the course of 15 years.”
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Arteta has been unable to provided such opportunities for Nelson and admitted his disappointment at the lack of first-team minutes he has granted the young star.
Speaking after the Gunners’ win over Newcastle in May, the Arsenal boss told Football London:
“I would like to give him more. He’s a boy who tries really hard, he trains every day. It’s very difficult at the moment with the players we have to be able to fit in.
“I feel sorry because he deserves more. He doesn’t play more and that’s my fault.”
Nelson made a total of nine appearances in all competitions last season, four of which came in the group stages of the Europa League.
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