Reiss Nelson is convinced Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta can develop him into a top player.
The 20-year-old, who is available for this weekend’s clash with Newcastle United following injury, has been a regular starter since the Spaniard returned to the Emirates Stadium in December, starting three of the first five games under Arteta.
It’s not the first time Arteta has coached Nelson during the latter’s career. This was the case five years ago when the former Arsenal captain was doing his coaching badges ahead of hanging up his boots.
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Now the pair have been reunited in the Gunners’ first-team and the winger couldn’t be more happier to have the Spaniard as his head coach again.
“There were times when I was 15 and he was doing his coaching badges that I used to get the ball and just run past everyone. That was one of my biggest traits,” Nelson told the Evening Standard.
“He used to manage that team, so he has probably seen glimpses of that. I wouldn’t say it was too easy back then, but now is a great time to have him as a manager because he understands what I am good at.
“Of course, he is going to give me the encouragement when I need it and if I am not doing the right stuff he is going to tell me.
“That’s what I really love, someone who gives me confidence, but then when I am doing the wrong thing, they tell me.
“I am working closely with Mikel and hopefully nailing down my spot in the Arsenal first team.”
Arteta has been credited for his previous work as Pep Guardiola’s assistant head coach at Manchester City.
Most notably for helping to transform Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane into world class forwards, and unsurprisingly Nelson is hoping to benefit from Arteta’s coaching methods.
“It is crazy because you look at Sterling and Sane and you see them before at their previous teams, they weren’t doing what they do now,” Nelson added.
“I think that is credit to Pep, of course, but Mikel as well because they said he did a lot of one-to-one work with them.
“You can see it because Mikel’s drive is different. I haven’t seen a manager with that much determination to make individuals into better players.
“I have all my belief in Mikel and I think he is going to make me into a top player.”