Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has heaped praise on Reiss Nelson, who was able to score only his second goal of the season in the 1-0 win over Leeds United in the FA Cup third round.
The England youth international made his 13th appearance of the campaign in the Cup tie against Leeds and made the key difference by bagging the only goal of the game in the 55th minute.
Nelson has impressed under Arteta over the past few games without making a meaningful impact in the box but he was able to put the struggles aside with his first Gunners goal since September.
Speaking after the Cup triumph, Arteta praised the impact from the Gunners graduate and was pleased that the 20-year-old was able to find the net, something which he has been failed to do since his injury comeback in early December.
“I am very pleased with him, how he’s training, how he’s reacting, how willing he is to learn. I know his potential and now he needs to put things away,” Arteta said.
“I am really, really pleased with Reiss, I think he needed that goal as well for his confidence, I think he needs to improve his end-product a little bit in the final third, but he’s doing all the right things.”
Nelson was recently dropped to the bench for the Premier League clash against Manchester United and his replacement Nicolas Pepe took the opportunity to score the opening goal in a comfortable 2-0 triumph.
The youngster could have faced the same fate against Leeds on Monday night but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s illness proved a blessing in disguise for him as he started and scored the goal which saw the club progress to the next round of the FA Cup.
Arsenal are scheduled to face Crystal Palace on the road in Saturday’s early Premier League kick-off. Nelson may have to settle for a substitute role, should club-captain Aubameyang recover from flu.
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