Interview

'My family are on this journey with me'

Sunday, April 8 may have been a regular day in the Premier League to most players - but for Reiss Nelson it was the culmination of years of work.

The England Under-20 international made his top-flight debut as we beat Southampton, and he says his family deserve huge credit for getting him to this point.
 
"When I was growing up, I used to have loads of Thierry jerseys on my wall," Nelson told Arsenal Player. "My Mum used to work really hard to get them, enough to get one of those shirts, so when I got it I used to wear it every single day. I used it to school, wear it out to parties, so when you see your name hanging there with all the other footballers’ in the dressing room it’s a big achievement. 

"I’ve given a couple of my Arsenal shirts back to my mum, along with my other family members as well. I think everybody wanted a shirt, so I’ve dished them out a lot.
 
"I think it’s a family achievement because my family’s been on this journey with me, they’ve always taken me to training in the rain, in the car or sometimes I would get on the train with my brother. 

"At the time my brother was still young, probably about 18 or 19, and for an 18 or 19-year-old boy, I think you would want to be out with your friends. 

"Maybe you’d want to go to parties or doing cool things, but he was dedicated in making me into the person I am today, taking me to late games, early games, waking up, making sure I go for jogs even when I was at that age as well. He was just keeping me grounded and making sure I was ready for the step up when I was older.
 
"I think, once I made my debut, all the hard work had paid off. It’s made me more of a man, I’d say, because people who are my age are going to be doing other stuff rather than looking after their family or chasing their dreams. 

"My brother’s got a son now, so I look after him, I look after my niece and nephews and I’m trying to do what my brother showed me by being a role model and taking care of the family."
 

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