“He’s shown us what he can do” – Arteta heaped praise on mentally strong English forward

By | December 3, 2020

Arsenal head-coach Mikel Arteta has praised Reiss Nelson following the versatile forward display in the Gunners 3-0 win over Molde in the Europa League on Thursday evening.

Second-half goals from Nicolas Pepe, Nelson and 19-year-old forward Folarin Balogun have helped the North London club to book place in the 1/32 round of the play offs.

Nelson, who was making only his third start of the campaign, delivered an encouraging display against the Norwegian club.

And Arteta has hailed the players mentality after he turned down chance to depart from the Emirates Stadium on loan in he summer instead staying and fighting for the spot in Spaniards starting XI.

‘He’s made some big steps in the last month or so. He’s shown what he can do,’ Arteta said after Arsenal’s win over Molde.

‘Again, he’s another player that wants to take you on all the time, he’s very vertical, he’s a great player when he runs in behind and he’s very unpredictable. I really like these types of players to play in the wide positions.

‘Defensively, there are things that he needs to do better and he will improve in that but he’s a much more mature player.

‘He showed a great attitude, in my opinion, to say that he didn’t want to leave on loan because he believes that he’s got a chance to play for this football club.

‘He’s showing that he wants to take that direction. He’s performing in the right way.’

Asked if he’s spoken to English forward about where he can strengthen his game, Arteta replied: ‘Yes. We’re doing a lot of work with him, obviously.

‘He’s so willing. He’s asking for more all the time. He wants individual meetings. He wants to work on the pitch in certain aspects in which we think he can improve.

‘He’s training really really well, he’s developing as well. He had a click and we needed that click.

‘Now it’s up to him but I must say that his last performances have been really good.’