Arsenal winger Reiss Nelson has revealed he has been getting coaching from Gunners legend Robin van Persie to improve his attacking talents.
In five seasons since making his senior debut, Nelson has appeared 48 times for Arsenal. He has bagged four goals and also provided four assists.
He has never truly been able to make his mark in north London, though. The winger has had a couple of loan spells away from the Emirates, in order to sharpen his game.
He played for Hoffenheim in the 2018/19 season, making 29 appearances in all competitions, and scoring seven goals. This season, he has plied his trade in the Netherlands, with Feyenoord. Nelson has four goals and eight assists in the 31 games he has played for the side.
This season has been his best in terms of combined goals and assists – while his spell at Hoffenheim was his best goals return. Improving in front of goal is likely to afford him more minutes upon his return to Arsenal in the summer.
It seems he has been putting focus on that, as the 22-year-old told The Athletic he has been learning from Arsenal legend Van Persie.
“I ask him about what positions I need to be getting in. Certain movements I need to be doing, certain finishes,” Nelson said.
“He’s amazing. He makes it so much simpler for you to understand. Sometimes the ball will come inside, and you go to smash it.
“He’s just like, “Look, make sure you get [good] contact, make sure your body is this way, make sure you just want to hit it into the corner”.
Indeed, it seems Nelson is taking on board the tips he is getting from the former Premier League hitman.
Van Persie believes Reiss Nelson can progress
Nelson explained how Van Persie got to be such a handful in front of goal. It seems the former star feels that Nelson has what it takes to be a deadly finisher, too.
“He just worked on it all the time, every day, and it took time, but then he really got the hang of it. It made him into the guy he is today,” Nelson added.
“So he said: “Just keep going and keep persisting in everything you do and you can make it to that level”.”
Nelson will hope that he can do that in an Arsenal shirt next season. The youngster has impressed for Feyenoord this term, and has one more chance to do so before heading back to England.
Feyenoord face Roma in the final of the Europa Conference League – a tournament Nelson has two goals and three assists in – and should he have an impact on the game, he could further his chances at a place in the Arsenal side next term.