Riess Nelson provided Arsenal fans with a glimpse of his talent by making his professional debut for Arsenal on Thursday night, introduced as a substitute for the disappointing Theo Walcott.
Nelson was given his chance by Wenger after his impressive performances in the U23 where he bagged the player of the month award for August, capped by scoring his 6th goal of the season away to Manchester United.
Clearly, the player is not afraid of the big stage, Nelson was brought on in the 83rd minute to a warm reception and immediately provided contrast to Walcott’s style of play by immediately making himself available for passes in tight areas.
His quick feet is matched by his quick passing tempo and brought back the old style Tika-Taka 1-2 passes which Wenger has tried to instil in the Arsenal style of play with many of the youth team graduates.
Nelson started out wide-right but was comfortable taking the ball inside and linked up the play well with his teammates. One glaring mistake was an attempt at a long-range ball from just inside his own half to Sanchez which was snuffed out by the Cologne defence and resulted in a quick Counterattack.
However, that was easily forgotten when he linked up beautifully with Wilshire and Sanchez at the edge of the box only for Sanchez to chip wide from an acute angle.
The signs are there, and as a debutant at 17 there seems to be enough to suggest that Nelson has the temperament to succeed and the hunger, skill and determination to push for a starting place soon. And despite all the turmoil off the pitch and within the first team at Arsenal fans live in hope that they have a potential wonderkid in their ranks.
The close of this year’s summer transfer window saw Premier League clubs spending a staggering £1.7 Billion. And whilst neutral football fans will recognise established names such as Lukaku (£70m), Oxlade-Chamberlain (£35m) and Kyle Walker (£50m), club fans will be excited to see more of their new, lesser known youth gems. FootballWonderKid highlights the top 7 youngsters that can make a real difference for their teams this season.
7. Dominic Solanke, 19, Liverpool, Striker
Striker Solanke rose through the ranks at the Chelsea, winning and scoring twice in the FA Youth cup final in the 2014/15 season, and consistently bagging 20+ goals in the U23s. Liverpool signed him when the transfer window opened in July, with a view of fast tracking him to the first team. Solanke’s striking ability and knack of scoring crucial goals saw England win the U20 World Youth Cup this summer. Liverpool fans will certainly be hoping he can transfer that strike rate into the first team when called upon.
Transfer fee: £3m
Likelihood of becoming the next Harry Kane: 6/10
Wales teenager Ben Woodburn tells the media his winner against Austria was a “dream come true”.
via It’s a dream come true – Woodburn — BBC Sport – Football
Arsene Wenger has been renowned for unearthing some of the best young talent in world football, from Patrick Vieira and Nicholas Anelka, to Cesc Fabregas and Hector Bellerin. Wenger pulled on his vast knowledge of the French league, and loopholes in the youth academies across Europe to offer youth players a chance at playing first team football in the most exciting league in the world.
Nowadays, however, every single Premier League club (and arguably some Championship clubs) have local and international scouts scouring the grass routes and schools to find the next big talent. Here Football Wonderkid analyses the top 5 youth players that we expect to see in an Arsenal first team soon.
Continue reading Five rising stars from Arsenal’s Youth Academy