Aston Villa

Aston Villa: Lange ready to make summer swoop for Arsenal’s Nelson

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Aston Villa are planning a summer move for Arsenal’s Reiss Nelson…

What’s the latest on Aston Villa’s interest in Reiss Nelson?

According to journalist Simon Jones in his Transfer Confidential column for MailOnline, Villa are preparing a summer swoop for the 23-year-old who has featured very little for the Gunners this season.

However, Villa sporting director Johan Lange will have to battle Brighton and Hove Albion who are also interested in securing his signature.

The column suggests that Villa boss Unai Emery was a big fan of Nelson during his time in charge at Arsenal and is keen to revive his career by linking up again at Villa Park.

The London-born starlet is out of contract this summer so would be available on a free transfer if he does not sign a new contract – and is valued at €7m (£6m) by Transfermarkt.

Arsenal's Reiss Nelson during the warm up before the match

Why are Aston Villa interested in Nelson?

Despite only making five substitute appearances in the Premier League for Arsenal this season, and being limited by a thigh injury, Nelson has a remarkable three goals and two assists.

This included a remarkably dramatic last-second winner against Bournemouth which sparked wild celebrations at the Emirates and was described as “incredible” by his manager Mikel Arteta.

The Spaniard also said that Arsenal “think the potential is there and we think we’ve seen something in Reiss that is special.” (via The Mirror)

Last season, the £38k-per-week man was loaned to Dutch side Feyenoord in the Eredivisie. Throughout the campaign, he registered four assists and two goals in 21 appearances.

Nelson’s performances were particularly notable during Feyenoord’s journey to the final of the Europa Conference League final, starting in every knockout game and scoring against FK Partizan in a 3-1 win in the round of 16.

Although Feyenoord ultimately lost 1-0 to Jose Mourinho’s Roma in the final, Nelson’s contributions throughout the competition were highly impressive, where he scored twice and assisted three goals from eight starts, on top of an average of 1.8 shots, 1.5 tackles and 0.9 key passes per game, via Sofascore.

Emery has a fine record of developing young players and handed debuts to Emile Smith-Rowe and Bukayo Saka during his time at the Emirates.

As Villa look to qualify for European football ahead of next season, Nelson would provide experience playing in European competitions as well as the experience of playing and training with numerous superstars at Arsenal.

At just 23, he has the potential to grow and develop with the club and would likely be offered the playing time he needs to rebuild momentum in a career that has stalled in recent years.

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