Arsenal star ‘desperate to prove himself’ singled out by Ian Wright after Forest heroics

Arsenal winger Reiss Nelson celebrates his goal Credit: Alamy
Arsenal winger Reiss Nelson celebrates his goal Credit: Alamy

Arsenal legend Ian Wright says he is “delighted” for Reiss Nelson after he came off the bench to score a brace against Nottingham Forest.

The Gunners were on fire as their 5-0 drubbing of Steve Cooper’s men put them back on top of the Premier League.

Bukayo Saka set up Gabriel Martinelli to open the scoring in the fifth minute.

The England star suffered an injury and was replaced in the first half by Nelson, however.

After a quiet first-half which finished 1-0, Nelson caught fire in the second 45 minutes, scoring twice whilst notching an assist.

The 22-year-old emphatically made it 2-0 before a clever finish a few minutes later put the game to bed.

He then went on to assist Thomas Partey with a soft pass which was smashed in the top corner from outside the box by the Ghanian midfielder.

Wright – who scored 156 goals for the Gunners – was absolutely chuffed for the academy graduate, who is “Arsenal through and through”.

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“I’m delighted for him,” Wright told Premier League Productions.

“It’s credit to him and the work he’s put in because he’s been there for a long time.

“A lot of people have said he should have gone out on loan but he’s stayed. Mikel has given everyone an opportunity if they are impressing and working hard.

“He’s obviously been doing that. He’s been rewarded for his hard work today and I’m pleased for him because he’s Arsenal through and through.

“He’s desperate to play for Arsenal and prove himself at Arsenal and this is a big step towards that. I’m just delighted for him.”

Nelson spent last season on loan with Feyenoord and helped the Dutch team reach the inaugural Europa Conference League final, which they lost to Jose Mourinho’s AS Roma.

His time in north London looked like it could have been up in the summer but Mikel Arteta opted to keep hold of him as opposed to loaning or selling the young winger.

Nelson’s current contract expires next year and there are no rumours of a new deal being negotiated.

Arteta was also very happy for Nelson, whose performance was a huge talking point after the game.

“I think not only me but all his team-mates, all the staff are so happy for him because he is a kid that is really changing, he’s really evolving, he’s really maturing,” the Arsenal manager said of Nelson.

“He’s showing every day how much he wants it and today he had the opportunity and he did extremely well because it helped us win the game.”

On what has changed in Nelson’s game, Arteta added: “How mature he is, how focused he is in his profession.

“The way he talks, the way he reflects, the way he respects decisions, the way he is challenging everybody every single day.

“He is a joy of a kid. We all want him to be successful and do well. What he has done today for the team is something he really merits.”

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