No More Worries about a Back Up for Saka: Arteta Has One Now

I have watched both Feyenoord games v Marseille over the last week with a special eye on our three Gunners playing for one of these teams.

Saliba was solid without being spectectular. Guendouzi made a few fine passes but I still cannot see what he really would add to Arsenal. He is neither a Xhaka, nor a Partey, nor an Odegaard, but he has a bit of all three of them. He could be a good squad player but I doubt he would want to settle for this. Saliba really is not of the Ben White calibre either but he could also be a good squad player. We are more desperate for a left sided CB, though, as Holding is the perfect stand in (and competition for) Big Ben.

The one who truly stood out was Reiss Nelson. He has struggled to get into the Feyenoord team, with under a thousand minutes of football played for the Rotterdam team until now, but in recent weeks he has broken through in this vibrant city. And Reiss is making a real difference. He was brilliant in both games v Marseille, with an assist in the first leg. But more importantly, he is now playing in the Saka role at Feyenoord, offering Arne Slot, the new and promising manager, a real attacking alternative. He has been class.

In both games, Nelsoni has been ball-tight and comfortable to receive it in tight spaces. He can hold on to it allowing others to join in attack, such an important skill in Arteta-ball. Reiss also takes on players to create momentum and space for others from these right positions; something Pepe for example really struggles with. He has been passing mostly accurately and his first touch has also improved.

Reiss is a confidence player and he really needed more exposure in a different league. Rotterdam is world city; Feyenoord is a proud club. The place and club rely on hard labour and comradeship. The people are honest and direct but oh so supportive if you give your all. Nelson has done so well to play himself into the team and is making a real difference now. He has two goals and four assist in 862 league minutes, a good return. He was also part of the Eredivisie team of the week:

He will return no longer a boy but as a man. Ready to compete with Saka for that right wing position; ready to be an Arteta player.

By TotalArsenal

25 thoughts on “No More Worries about a Back Up for Saka: Arteta Has One Now

  • I must admit that I had pretty much thought that Nelson’s career at Arsenal might have been over as I was aware that he hadn’t been playing much for Feyenoord so your post is really interesting. I am really pleased that things are finally working out for him.

  • OX10, he worked so hard last night and was only subbed in the last few minutes of the game. Late in the game he made a sloppy pass in attack but he ran all the way back to make a key tackle just outside Feyenoords box. It showed how much he has grown.

  • Absolutely embarrassing! I really like Nelson but such a joke of an article! This will probably just harm his future! It’s like someone that can’t spell or use punctuation properly has been paid to fight his corner!! Saliba!??? What r u talking about? National team call up!! Absolutely exceptional! Arsenal fans that I know of are worried about losing the next varane!!!! Such a talent! Absolute joke of an article

  • Brentford v Southampton A
    Burnley v Aston Villa A
    Chelsea v Wolves * H (2-0)
    Brighton v Manchester United A
    Liverpool v Tottenham * H (3-1)
    Arsenal v Leeds * H (3-0)

  • I am sad the Guendouzi had the very low sell on clause added as I think he is good enough to do a job for us. He has obviously matured since he left (also has become a father which has probably helped with this).

    Saliba I think is good enough as he is playing regular European football, national team call up and in the running for team of the season/young player of the season.

    Reiss has always looked like one of those players who comes close but just can’t make it. Would love him to come back and be the next academy guy to be in the first team. He has a bit of everything and I am amazed he never seems to do it here.

    With us being in some sort of European competition next year these guys will play and be useful. They also qualify as home grown or u21 so help with the quota.

    With Arteta signing a new deal I am sure these guys will know if they have a future with us. He strikes me as the sort of chap who will have told them by now.

  • Good comment, Wedgo. The French league is a B league compared to the PL, but Saliba offers a lot and I would love to see him given a try at Arsenal. But White and Holding are simply great cover, so not sure how he could be fitted in.

    Guendo I just cannot place but he definitely could do with more maturing. I don’t think he is in Mikel ‘s plans.

    Reiss really seems to have grown.

  • Total the only player that I have watched is Nelson and frankly he has always looked as thought he had it in him to become at least one of the squad.

  • TA, this post has simply addressed a thought that’s been playing on my mind about the young man. As regulars on here would confirm, I have always supported his emergence in and around the first team, and was disappointed to see him go out on loan; now, it turns out it was/is for the best.

    The game I focused on last night was the conference league game between Marseille and Feynoord; I like to see how our boy is progressing and boy, he has grown each game he’s had the chance to play in. With European commitments, I won’t have any other back up for Saka or Martinelli (he can play from both flanks) than a player who joined us at 9 years old. He deserves it and has the right skill set. He has matured from the gung-ho, single minded approach play to one that considers the team structure. He does need to improve his stamina as he seems to start to blow after 70 minutes.

    Like you noted, he’s been more involved in the goals, lately. In Feyenoord’s last three Eredivisie games, Nelson has directly been involved in six goals – four assists and two goals. In the Europa Conference League, he has two goals and three assists in his last five appearances, which is really impressive as well.
    As the summer nears, he has blossomed. My post will be all about him as I don’t make too much of Saliba and Guendouzi other than great squad players in a likely busier season 2022/2023.

  • Great comment, Eris.

    Good point about stamina. Yet he was v dynamic towards the end of the game and set up a half decent change then..

  • Correct, TA. He was subbed off about the 87/88th minutes; the longest I have seen him play when he’s started a game for Feynoord.

    Nelson is a good footballer; a protagonist type who can provoke good situations for our offensive players to profit. He will do, for now, until we are willing/able to dole out huge fees for super stars.

  • Brentford v Southampton H
    Burnley v Aston Villa H
    Chelsea v Wolves * H (3-0)
    Brighton v Manchester United D
    Liverpool v Tottenham * H (3-2)
    Arsenal v Leeds * H (3-1)

  • Thanks Total. If Pepe goes, it makes a lot of sense to bring Nelson back into the fold.

    Brentford v Southampton H
    Burnley v Aston Villa H
    Chelsea v Wolves * 1-1
    Brighton v Manchester United D
    Liverpool v Tottenham * 2-0
    Arsenal v Leeds * 3-0

  • Have you fine fellows seen the Buckenham Locksmiths promo on the club web site? Well a laugh.

  • Just to let you all know, Kev is fine. He is just taking a break from blogging on Bergkampesque. Shame for the GN5 competition, but it’s of course understandable.

  • Arteta amd Jonas signing new contract is excellent news. For me it signifies two things. Josh believe that Arteta has met this year’s objective and our summer signings may well already be in our bag.
    Also our women team is in an almighty last day league challenge with Chelsea. In all probability we may finish second wiht a point behind Chelsea but just hoping for a favour from Man U ladies. COYG

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