Why £30m Arsenal Flop Who’s “A Joke in Training” Should Never Play for the Club Again

Recent days have seen an increase in scrutiny regarding Mikel Arteta’s squad management at Arsenal.

Arteta’s contributions to the Emirates are significant. He is widely regarded as one of the league’s top tacticians, with Wolves manager Gary O’Neil recently praising the Gunners’ backline as “the best defence in the world.”

Credit for the team’s continuous improvement is due to Arteta and his coaching staff, who have built a solid foundation, particularly in defense, with players like Gabriel, William Saliba, and others.

However, concerns arise when examining Arsenal’s attacking prowess. Losses to Aston Villa and Bayern Munich, which severely dented their trophy aspirations, highlight potential shortcomings in the team’s forward play.

Although Arsenal managed to rebound with a 2-0 victory over Wolves, reclaiming the top spot in the Premier League table, key players like Bukayo Saka and goal scorer Martin Odegaard continue to shoulder heavy workloads without adequate rest.

This issue is concerning because Arsenal’s top performers are shouldering a disproportionate burden.

Minutes played by outfield players at top 3 clubs
PlayerClubMinutes played
William SalibaArsenal2970
Declan RiceArsenal2780
Martin OdegaardArsenal2650
Virgil van DijkLiverpool2638
Bukayo SakaArsenal2593
Ben WhiteArsenal2566
Julian AlvarezMan City2461
Phil FodenMan City2453
RodriMan City2409
Data via Sky Sports = Premier League only.

The main concern is Arteta’s apparent lack of trust in fringe players, even though he recently renewed contracts for players like Eddie Nketiah, who now earns £100k per week, and Reiss Nelson. However, Nketiah hasn’t scored a league goal since his hat-trick against Sheffield United in October, and Nelson hasn’t found the net since a League Cup match against Brentford last September.

Latest on Reiss Nelson’s future

In the previous term, Nelson delivered a memorable moment for Arsenal fans. As the clock ticked down, the Gunners required a miracle to secure a victory against Bournemouth at the Emirates Stadium.


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After the set piece was cleared, the academy graduate received the ball and took a single touch to prepare himself. With precision, he unleashed a powerful volley from outside the box, sending the ball into the net. The crowd erupted into jubilant chaos, celebrating the remarkable goal.

This stunning performance may have secured the 24-year-old a fresh contract with the club where he began his career. Despite signing a new deal just last summer, speculation suggests that he could be on the verge of departure.

Reports indicate that Brighton is showing interest in acquiring the player during the upcoming transfer window. His talents have prompted the club to place a significant price tag of £25m-£30m on him, reflecting his value in the current market.

Reiss Nelson’s Downfall

Once upon a time, Nelson was hailed as Arsenal’s next promising talent from the academy, preceding Saka in his breakthrough. However, it’s Saka who has truly excelled, emerging as the standout performer.

With 18 goals this season, Saka has cemented his status as the club’s top scorer for the second consecutive campaign, earning widespread recognition.

In contrast, Nelson has struggled to make an impact, tallying just one goal and three assists this season, none of which came in the league. His limited playing time, with only one start in the Premier League, falls short of expectations since signing a new contract.

Considering these circumstances, a departure from the club this summer appears inevitable, benefiting neither Arsenal nor Nelson himself.

Arteta’s lack of trust in Nelson’s abilities is evident, and for the player, career progression is imperative. Remaining at Arsenal would only hinder his development further.

Despite sporadic opportunities, Nelson has failed to impress, as highlighted in a recent start against Luton where his performance was underwhelming, marked by a lack of crosses, key passes, and shots on target.

Once dismissed as “a joke in training” by another academy standout, Alex Iwobi, it seems Nelson diligently puts in the work behind the scenes. However, with only 255 minutes of Premier League action this season, a staggering 2,338 fewer than Saka, his prospects of success at Arsenal seem bleak.

Given the increasing interest in the attacker this summer, it’s prime time to capitalize. It wouldn’t come as a shock if Nelson has already concluded his last match wearing the Arsenal jersey.

To stay competitive in the title race, Saka must maintain his consistent presence on the field, playing every available minute.

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