Reiss Nelson has had some memorable moments at Feyenoord this season but his loan spell ended in frustration with a 1-0 defeat to Roma in the inaugural Europa Conference League final in Tirana.
Another Arsenal loanee, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, was an unused substitute for Roma, but he still ended up with a winner’s medal and made three appearances in the competition this season.
Nicolo Zaniolo scored the only goal of the game for Roma in the 32nd minute.
Nelson started after recovering from injury but he wasn’t able to have a major impact in this showpiece occasion.
Deployed on the right flank, the 22-year-old often drifted infield in the first half and he had a couple of good touches.
On one occasion Nelson sent a cross out of play and he later had a shot blocked late in the first half.
Nelson was eventually substituted in the 73rd minute and had to watch on as Feyenoord’s hopes of winning the trophy slipped away.
Despite its disappointing denouement, Nelson’s spell at Feyenoord has been a success overall. His time in Holland started slowly but he finished the campaign strongly after growing in confidence.
After joining Roma in January, Maitland-Niles featured prominently initially but then lost his place in the team and was unable to reclaim it.
Both Nelson and Maitland-Niles return to Arsenal with their futures at the club far from certain given that they both have a year left on their deals.
Nelson perhaps could still have a chance of succeeding at Arsenal but he needs to be playing regularly, while Maitland-Niles has been unable to fully establish himself despite his versatility.