He’s scoring regularly for the England under 21’s and if he continues to impress at youth level and for Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga, expect him to be called up to Southgate’s senior squad before long, as Gareth looks to reward young players playing and performing regularly.
Not one of the England squad at the World Cup played for a team outside of the English Premier League, and it showed.
Whilst Gareth Southgate’s men showed more bottle and passion than comparative past England squads, there was still a strong sense of tactical naivety from the way England setup and performed and that is unlikely to change whilst the team continue to develop in the same environment.
With players like Nelson and Sancho plying their trade in the Bundesliga, it’s great for the national team and we will start to see new styles as our young players learn more – how to attack against different styles of defending. This was a clear problem for England teams of the past and even against Croatia in the World Cup semi final this year, we looked out of ideas going forward.
Just in case you haven’t seen Reiss Nelson’s free-kick yet…… pic.twitter.com/RsGyzYrlHe
— Charles Watts (@charles_watts) October 16, 2018
From an Arsenal perspective, it’s great too. Nelson has committed his long-term future to the Gunners but has chosen to go and challenge himself abroad and so far it has reaped rewards.
He has featured sparingly so far but impressed during his cameo’s. Nelson is playing in a mix of positions for the German giants, including through the middle and has netted two Bundesliga goals already in just 95 minutes of football.
When you look at a young player you always wonder how will they break into the national team and the senior squads, and with Nelson you can see a clear route in both instances.
For Southgate, there is a constant appetite to introduce fresh young talent into the squad, especially quick forwards who make things happen.
Ohhh Reiss Nelson!
The absolute audacity ?
He marks his @England U21 debut with the cheekiest of finishes ? pic.twitter.com/SnUPkf5alE
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) October 11, 2018
Under Unai Emery at Arsenal, there is a clear void of wide players with pace since Theo Walcott, Alexis Sanchez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all left and were not directly replaced. Nelson will also be encouraged by how Iwobi has started life under Emery, with clear improvements to his game after signing a new contract. Nelson will hope to follow similar steps when he returns to the Emirates in the summer and should he and Iwobi continue to improve, perhaps there will no longer be a need to sign a wide forward.
Still just 18 years old, the future is certainly bright for Nelson and I can’t wait to see him continue progressing both for club and country.