He may only turn 18 in December, but Reiss Nelson has already come a long way.
The winger has gone from starring for our under-23s as a 14-year-old to making his first-team debut in just three seasons - but his footballing journey didn’t actually start with us.
“I was only nine years old and used to play for a team in Catford,” Nelson told the Arsenal Weekly podcast. “I would wake up every morning and get the train with my brother to travel to Catford three times a week to play there.
“I was there for about two months playing for a team called Moonshot and then I got scouted for Tottenham. I was at Tottenham for three or four weeks, and then a phonecall from Arsenal came and I went to Arsenal’s training ground. After the first session, they wanted to sign me so happy days. I didn’t look back.
“All the coaches at Arsenal have helped me a lot, even from my early days at Hale End as well. It was different to come from Hale End to London Colney. The culture at London Colney is so much different because we have a load of world-class first-team players around.
“Alex Iwobi has really helped me and is always making jokes to see if I’m OK. Lacazette is a nice guy as well, Ozil, Hector as well. All of the boys there are great and have really taken me in as a person and a footballer as well.
“I’m pushing to be a first-team player, so everything has come so fast and I’m very grateful. I want to push on, keep pushing and then hopefully I get a first-team spot in the next few years.
“I’ve spoken to the boss a lot and he’s said for this early stage it’s about development because I’m still young. I need to get to grips with defending and then hopefully when I’m older and more mature, I can move further up the field and show everyone what I’ve got.
“I’ve got to give my all, 100 per cent, and my family are really important in helping me do that. I’m always trying to better myself and improve, so it’s just adding the little things and the finishing touches.”
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