The Mirror, as they spit out all manner of deadline day rumors, have suggested that Villarreal and Betis are both interested in Arsenal’s 21 year old Reiss Nelson on loan. Frankly, I’m not interested and here’s why.
Nelson has played four Europa League matches for Arsenal this season, once in the FA Cup, and has just two appearances for less than 90 minutes in the league. Very similar levels of participation to what we have gotten from Alex Baena this year, and we are a better team than Arsenal is. Nelson has a little bit more history behind him in previous seasons, having logged over 600 minutes for Hoffenheim as an 18 year old and about the same for Arsenal last season in the Premier League.
Put simply, his development has stagnated this year and I’m not sure he’s better than the young attacking options that we own who need playing time. Yes, our offense has struggled, but I think Gerard Moreno and Samu Chukwueze getting healthy would do far more for our attack than rolling the dice on an Arsenal kid whose career isn’t going particularly well.
I really just don’t think we need a forward given the financial situation at the club. More specifically, I don’t think we can afford an attacker who is a legitimate upgrade over our current options, and that’s fine. The football world in general is in a brutal financial situation and we were never the richest club to begin with. It’s a problem not unique to Villarreal. For me, this is a player less talented than Kubo coming in to do the job Kubo did, and if that’s gonna be the case, I would rather ride with our cantera products.