Arsenal must desperately avoid repeating their Serge Gnabry mistake with Reiss Nelson in this January transfer window.
Nelson has played just 69 minutes of Premier League football under Mikel Arteta this season, with injuries certainly not helping his cause in getting some more first-team action.
And speaking about a possible loan move away for Nelson in his pre-match press conference ahead of the game against Manchester United on Saturday afternoon, Arteta himself said: “That’s a conversation that we are having with the players that are not having a lot of time.
“Obviously we want to keep their development going and we will make decision in the next three days with some of them on what the best thing is to do. We try to be clear and transparent with what the plans are and their roles in the team and after that, we decide on the best thing for the players and the club.”
Even to this day, Arsenal fans are probably haunted by the fact that Serge Gnabry was allowed to join Tony Pulis’ West Brom, where the German played just three times before returning to the Emirates.
Since then of course, Gnabry has won the Champions League with Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich, and his career is a major reference point for the Gunners when it comes to picking the right club for Nelson this month.
They simply cannot afford to waste away another promising young winger because they didn’t do their due diligence in what club would be best for their development, both in terms of guaranteeing first-team football for them, and the position and environment they would be playing in.
It was only last season after Arsenal’s FA Cup win over Portsmouth, that Arteta said of the £15k-a-week earning ace: “We have pace in a few players up front. Reiss (Nelson) is a special player and can eliminate players one on one. He’s been out for a while but he’s back now and he showed what he’s capable of doing.”
Whilst Ainsley Maitland-Niles has been dominating the headlines as the likes of Southampton and West Brom battle over his services, Nelson’s short-term future and how Arsenal handle it is equally important.