Unai Emery must be counting his lucky stars that an influx of young talent could come to his rescue as he navigates the club through a tricky transfer market.
Having around £45m to spend in the off-season to add reinforcements to his underachieving squad, the return of Reiss Nelson from his promising loan spell in the Bundesliga at Hoffenheim will be a welcome addition with the squad lacking in wide attacking outlets.
With Alex Iwobi the only current winger by trade, the chances of Nelson getting a look-in for the Arsenal first team seem pretty high as The Gunners’ search for new players continues to stutter while the kick-off draws nearer and finances remain tight, with little cash received from outgoings so far.
After impressing in the German league during the previous campaign, Nelson’s progress had been likened to that of Jadon Sancho – who has made a name for himself after a breakthrough season at Borussia Dortmund that almost delivered a league title.
Six goals in his first seven league games for the club may have been something of a false dawn for Nelson having only scored once since December, but his promise is there for all to see. Replicating that form back at Arsenal could be the lucky break both he and Emery need as a rumoured squad overhaul has yet to show itself.
There are currently no out-and-out right-wingers at Arsenal, and should he be able to recreate the goal threat that saw him score six times from wide positions last year, Nelson has a terrific chance to nail down a place in the Gunners starting XI.
With strikers of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s calibre to provide service for, you can expect him to surpass his assist tally of one pretty quickly if he is given an opportunity next season.
Reiss Nelson will walk into the Arsenal dressing room next season with more Champions League experience than the vast majority of his teammates.
Why can’t he walk into the first team?
Arsenal’s right side is lacking in substance – especially with the long-term absence of Hector Bellerin. Ainsley Maitland-Niles does his best but is not productive enough from defensive or wing-back positions. In attack, neither Henrikh Mkhitaryan nor even Aubameyang on occasion, have managed to make the right wing a home of their own.
Nelson can step in and give Arsenal a new attacking dimension from this area – and at just 19, can make a start on dominating The Gunners’ right for years to come.
If Emery is willing enough to give him a chance, his future – and Arsenal’s – is in his own hands.