I think if you asked any Arsenal fan in August what type of impact Reiss Nelson would have on this season, the answer would have been very little… but how wrong was that?
Although still relatively young at 23-years old, Reiss Nelson made his Premier League debut back in 2018, under Arsene Wenger, coming on as a sub in Arsenal’s 4-1 win against Crystal Palace. His time at Arsenal so far has very much been plagued with injuries, and he hasn’t had many chances for first team appearances.
He’s been sent out on loan twice during his Arsenal career so far, in 2018/19 at Hoffenheim and in 2021/22 for Feyenoord.
This season Reiss has only made two appearances in The Premier league and started zero games, firstly coming on as an early sub for Bukayo Saka against Nottingham Forest, and the most recent one being at home against Bournemouth, and oh boy, did he deliver in both of those opportunities.
On October 30th against Nottingham Forest he came on in 27th minute for Bukayo Saka. He scored Arsenal’s second goal in the 49th minute after a fantastic fake shot in the box. Just three minutes later he scored his second after Gabriel Jesus’s assist before assisting Thomas Partey for his wonder goal in the 57th minute.
One game, two goals & one assist.
However, the game against Bournemouth is the game that will live in Nelson’s & Arsenal fans memories forever. Coming on as a sub in 69th minute, with Arsenal losing 2-1. Just one minute after coming on he crossed the ball to Ben White at the back post who scored his first Arsenal goal and the equaliser in the game.
After that goal, Arsenal’s domination continued but they just couldn’t find the winner… up step, Reiss Nelson.
After the corner in the 97th minute, Marcos Senesi cleared the ball on Nelson’s weak foot, and he didn’t hesitate. He had one touch, look and BOOM. The ball went straight past Neto, and the limbs begun on the pitch & in the stands.
The players, Mikel Arteta, the coaches, the fans, everyone started running around and jumping, celebrating Reiss Nelson’s 97th minute winner. The game finished 3-2 and this goal could prove crucial with Arsenal aiming to win their first league title since the Invincibles in 2003/04.
Reiss Nelson created a moment that was arguably the biggest the Emirates Stadium has ever seen, since it opened in 2006.
Reiss Nelson played only 85 minutes in the Premier League this season, scoring three and assisting two making him involved in more Premier League goals as a substitute than any other player this season.
He averages a goal contribution every 17 minutes, which is also the best in the Premier League.
Just an Arsenal fan living his dream. What a moment.
— now.arsenal (@now_arsenaI) March 4, 2023
There is no doubt that Nelson will get more minutes now that we are entering final stages of the season, with his first start maybe coming this Thursday against Sporting Lisbon.
Take a bow, Reiss… but this is only the beginning.