Arsenal may have made costly transfer mistake as Arteta talks up emerging option

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has talked up Reiss Nelson, who put on a dazzling display against Molde in the Europa League.

He even admitted he could be used to play in Willian’s role on the right-wing, who has failed to impress since his arrival.

The Brazilian departed Chelsea after seven years following a contract wrangle.

The forward moved to north London, agreeing a three-year deal at the Emirates and many commended Arsenal’s business sense.

But that is already starting to look like a mistake after a shoddy start to his Gunners career.

And at the age of 32, he is not getting any younger and fans are already unhappy with his contributions.

Willian has failed to impress since his move from Chelsea

Other than his debut against Fulham where he got two assists, Willian has failed to register any form of goal contribution.

It has coincided with an abysmal spell in the Premier League where the Gunners have failed to find the net in nearly eight hours.

The result has left them 12th in the table, seven points behind league leaders and local rivals Tottenham.

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But it has been a different story in the Europa League, where Arsenal have already qualified from their group after beating Molde 3-0.

Arteta gave the youngsters a chance and Joe Willock, Emile Smith Rowe and Folarin Balogun all impressed.

And another to catch the eye was Nelson, who has long been rated by Arsenal coaches but has yet to find consistent form.

Reiss Nelson scored Arsenal’s second goal against Molde

Of course, there are not many 20-year-olds that have but Arteta saw a spark in Nelson on Thursday night that suggests he could take on a bigger role in the first-team after he scored in the win in Norway.

With Willian injured, Arteta admitted he could fill in for the Brazilian, saying: “He’s made some big steps in the last month or so. He’s shown what he can do. He’s another player who wants to take on all the time. He’s very vertical.

“He’s a great player who runs in behind. He’s very unpredictable. I really like these types of players to play in winger positions.

“Defensively there are things he needs to do better but he will improve that but he’s a much more mature player.

“He showed a great attitude to say he didn’t want to leave on loan because he believes he’s got a chance to play for this football club and he’s showing that he wants to take that direction. He’s performing in the right way.”

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