Mikel Arteta has revealed attacker Reiss Nelson’s show of ‘willingness and passion’ was one of the reasons why the Gunners winger was not sent out on loan for this campaign.
The 20-year-old graduated from the north London side’s academy in 2017 as one of the talented young prospects to have been brought through at Hale End.
After a season-long loan at Bundesliga side Hoffenheim in the 2018-19 season, Nelson returned to the Gunners with high hopes of nailing down a regular starting berth at the English giants.
The forward made 17 PL appearances in the 2019-20 campaign, however, his only start for the senior team so far this season came in the 2-0 Carabao Cup victory against Leicester back in September.
Speaking to reporters, Mikel admitted that the club had planned on sending out Reiss out on loan in the last transfer window.
‘We ended the window with a large squad and we had a few plans in mind for Reiss and one of them was to send him on loan to get more minutes because of the competition that we have up front.
When pressed on why the Englishman remained at the Emirates this summer, the Spanish manager said: ‘It was a mix of a few things.
‘Reiss was also really convinced that he wanted to fight to stay here, and when you see that willingness and passion and that security in a player, you feel tempted to keep him even though you know opportunities are going to be restricted and he’s not going to have a lot of continuity in his play.’