Arsenal’s Reiss Nelson set to reap the benefits of London Colney step-up

Reiss Nelson’s breakthrough into Arsenal’s U18 squad towards the end of last season was one of the very few salvageable moments of solace to take from what was a wretched campaign for the club at that level.

The youngster, who doesn’t turn 16 until December, made three starts for Frans De Kat’s side in addition to featuring on a further three occasions as a substitute. Skilful, creative and quick, he has long been earmarked as a potential talent of the future, a point that has been further evidenced by the club’s decision to allow him to train full time at London Colney this season, despite the fact that he is still a schoolboy.

In doing so Nelson will be following in the footsteps of Jack Wilshere and Chuba Akpom, who both spent their final year as an U16 player training with players who were older than them. Whether Nelson will follow Wilshere and Akpom in one day making the first-team set-up remains to be seen, but the decision to allow him to train with the U18 squad, for whom he will surely make a substantial amount of appearances this season, appears to be a very wise one.

Capable of playing out wide or, alternatively, as an attacking-midfielder, Nelson has represented England at U15 and U16 levels, but it is when playing for Arsenal that he has had the most significant impact, with the Hale End product featuring frequently for the U16 team last season when he was still an U15 player.

Today Nelson travelled with the rest of the U18 squad for a five-day training camp in the Netherlands as the preparations for the new season intensified a little. Should he impress sufficiently, Nelson may well find himself in contention to feature in the Arsenal XI friendly against Bournemouth at the training ground on July 11th.

Nelson, as can be gleaned from his rapid development over the last few years, is used to developing quickly. It may not be too much longer before he starts to garner even more attention.



  1. Jb – I’m not on twitter, but see us comments below and some others. I just wanted to clarify something. When flamini signed his last contract it was a straight 3 year deal. When arteta and rosicky signed their last deals they were both 1 year deals with 1 year options. That means the club or the player have the right to invoke the option. I remember djouro signing a similar deal then still being sent out on loan. Others have done it too, lansbury for example was then sold with a sell on clause. I believe the club has extended rosicky and artetas deals meaning that should we find the right players this summer we could still sell them both. I am sure that flamini and arteta could find themselves out of the picture come 1st September, whilst rosicky may well be kept till January, then allow him to go on loan to secure his place in the euros should Czech rep get there.

  2. Nelson sounds to be hell of a talent!
    I think he should be manage carefully-most skillful lads end up being injury prone.I hope he doesn’t.
    heard our u-19s will play a preseason in SA.any confirmation Jeorge?

  3. Do we know who are the players involved with the Under-18s’ training camp in the Netherlands? You mentioned earlier that there might be 25 players in the Youth squad.

    What’s the status of Nelson in the team? Is he still a Schoolboy and only sign a Scholar’s contract when he turns 16 in December?

    1. Nelson will sign a scholarship deal next summer. The squad that has travelled to the Netherlands includes all of the current first-year and second-year scholars and a few young professionals as well.

      On Thu, Jul 2, 2015 at 5:32 PM, Jeorge Bird's Arsenal Youth wrote:


  4. thanks!
    I think Holland experience will be positive, they do have good academies out there which are very technical.I hope we’d come across the next DB10 whilst there. lol
    looking forward to SA tournament!

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