New Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira could return cap in hand to former club Arsenal this summer after being linked with a move for winger Reiss Nelson.
According to The Sun, the Eagles want to sign the 21-year-old on loan over the coming months as they continue to overhaul their first team squad.
Nelson struggled for game-time last term and is not expected to be part of Mikel Arteta’s plans at the Emirates Stadium this time around, meaning that an imminent exit could be on the cards.
The England under-21 international burst onto the scene in 2018/19 when he contributed to nine goals in 31 appearances for Hoffenheim during a season-long loan spell with the Bundesliga outfit.
However, Nelson failed to reproduce his impressive performances upon his return to north London, finding himself behind the likes of Nicolas Pepe, Willian and Bukayo Saka in the Arsenal pecking order.
In 39 outings over the last two seasons, the £8.1m-rated wing wizard has found the back of the net on just six occasions, laying on a further four assists, not the sort of return which is going to force himself into the Gunners’ starting line-up.
Despite his struggles at his boyhood club, Nelson has shown glimpses of his lofty potential in an Arsenal shirt, drawing praise from Arteta.
“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,” said the Spanish tactician following an impressive 2-0 FA Cup win at Portsmouth in March 2020.
Last summer, fellow Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette also chimed in with high praise for his team-mate, saying: “He is a big talent and does a lot of work behind [the scenes]. I trust in him, he is working a lot in every training session.”
With Andros Townsend departing Selhurst Park on a free transfer following a five-year stint in south London, the Eagles are on the search for his successor to fill the right-wing berth, and Nelson could be the ideal candidate.
The likes of Marc Guehi, Joachim Andersen and Conor Gallagher have already joined Vieira’s new-look Palace ahead of the upcoming campaign, and hopefully Nelson can be the next fresh face to arrive at the capital club.