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.