Playing in front of 80,000 fans and sharing a pitch with a global superstar like Mesut Ozil, it would be easy for a 17-year-old to be overawed by the situation.
But there was no trace of nerves in Reiss Nelson’s performance against Sydney FC, and his confident showing certainly caught the eye of his manager.
“Since I’ve been in the game I’ve understood that you either have that [confidence] at 17 years of age or you don’t,” Arsene Wenger said.
“Some of the players I’ve had in my career have turned 18 years old and it seems natural for them to be on the pitch. They just think, ‘Let’s play’ and Reiss behaves like that.
“They all did well today, Reiss Nelson, Joe Willock as well had a very strong performance. They are young, just 17 or 18 years old, so that is very promising.
“Pre-season is there for that, for me to understand how close they are. It’s the first game, it’s a bit early. What they’ve shown tonight means they have the chance of being very, very close.”
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