Arsenal’s Reiss Nelson is attracting interest from Brighton and Hove Albion, according to the Daily Mail.
Yet the Gunners need to do all they can to keep the 23-year-old dynamo at the Emirates.
What’s the latest on Nelson’s contract at Arsenal?
The one-time Feyenoord loanee has impressed when called upon by manager Mikel Arteta this season, but is on the hunt for first-team football.
Nelson’s contract expires in the summer, which means that he will be a free agent and is able to speak to other clubs regarding his future.
Brighton, who are currently seventh in the Premier League table, would offer the former England U21 international an easier pathway into the starting XI than at the Emirates, where he faces competition from Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe, Leandro Trossard and Gabriel Martinelli.
Arsenal can’t afford to let Nelson go
The Gunners have had a successful season thus far that has been defined by key moments: one of which is Nelson’s last-minute goal against AFC Bournemouth.
The £38k-per-week winger came on as a substitute, before assisting Benjamin White for the equalising goal and scoring the winner in the 97th minute.
The cameo performances that the former Hoffenheim loanee has been producing this season has excited Arsenal fans who feel he may be living up to the potential that he was tipped to have when he made his debut in 2017 under Arsene Wenger.
Arsenal’s substitutes, or “impacters” – as Arteta now calls them – have been vital in producing energy off of the bench to either see out matches or energise the attack.
With the increased number of high-level matches the north London side will face next season due to their likely Champions League qualification, it will become imperative that there is a rotation of players within the squad.
Nelson, who was praised by his former teammate and Hale End graduate Alex Iwobi for his “elite mindset”, is needed to fulfil this particular role.
While he may find it easier to snub an extension in London in favour of a move to the south coast, staying to help his boyhood club compete amongst Europe’s finest will hold some weight.
For Arsenal, the ever-increasing number of matches will mean that losing the 23-year-old will be a huge blow as he will need to be replaced – particularly after he has begun to find some form under the Spaniard.
It would not be easy to find a like-for-like replacement for Nelson due to his unique role within the squad. As a result, keeping the winger in north London should be of utmost importance on sporting director Edu Gaspar’s agenda.