Arsene Wenger opens up about Reiss Nelson after Arsenal win

Arsene Wenger delivers his verdict on Reiss Nelson's full Premier League debut for Arsenal against Southampton

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger Photo: The Sport Review

Arsene Wenger praised Reiss Nelson for his performance after he made his first start for Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday.

Nelson featured from the kick-off against Southampton at The Emirates over the weekend as the Gunners boss opted to give the 18-year-old his first start in the top flight.

The teenager played for 64 minutes of the Premier League tie before being brought off by Wenger against the Saints.

The youngster has been earning plenty of praise for his strong performances in the cup competitions for Wenger’s side this season and this was his first chance to start in the top flight.

And Wenger has lifted the lid on Nelson’s display for the north London side after he made his first appearance in the Premier League from the start for the Gunners.

Speaking to Arsenal’s website, Wenger said: “I felt that he has shown that technically he has the level.

“He worked very hard for the team. On the other side, we know people who watch the youth team a lot know that Reiss Nelson has a lot more in the locker to go one against one and take people on. On that front, he was a bit not completely himself today. But overall it’s positive.

“It’s natural [to be inhibited], yes. Suddenly you have an opponent who is more aggressive, quicker and you want to pass him.

“Believe me he [can] because he does that against players in training. It’s the first opportunity for him and I think he hasn’t missed it.”

Arsenal will now switch their focus back towards Europa League affairs and their crunch clash against CSKA Moscow on Thursday night.

The Gunners beat the Russian side 4-1 in the first leg of their quarter-final tie last week as they look to try and reach the semi-finals of Europe’s second tier club competition.

Arsenal are currently sixth in the Premier League table.

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