Mikel Arteta has provided a worrying update on the fitness of Reiss Nelson after the forward was forced to sit out of Saturday’s visit of Sheffield United with a hamstring problem.
Nelson had been named in the starting lineup for Arteta’s first two matches in charge but was left out of the squad entirely for the 1-1 draw with the Blades after sustaining an injury in training.
Mikel Arteta has addressed the media after today’s draw.
Read the full transcript after #ARSSHU
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) January 18, 2020
Gabriel Martinelli got the nod on Saturday in place of the suspended Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, scoring the opener for Arsenal on the stroke of half time following some neat build-up play. John Fleck levelled matters late in the game to earn the Blades a deserved point, but the absence of Nelson at the Emirates added further misery to a disappointing string of results under Arteta.
Speaking in his post-match press conference, the Spaniard offered an update on the Englishman’s fitness, but the early signs aren’t positive as the Gunners’ injury list piles up.
“We had an incident in training and the doctor is still deciding how long it’s going to take but it’s not looking good,” he said on the club’s official website.
The news comes after Arteta had been challenging Nelson to realise his potential at Arsenal, citing some poor choices in his career but equally claiming the 20-year-old has bags of promise. He also stopped short of making Raheem Sterling comparisons, but insisted the winger has the world at his feet at the moment.
“I wouldn’t like to compare, what I will say is that Reiss has the potential to do whatever he wants,” he declared. “If he wants to do it, wants to learn and wants to challenge himself he can be a top, top player for this football club.”
How long Nelson will be sidelined for is not known, but he joins defenders Calum Chambers and Kieran Tierney on the sidelines while Aubameyang has two matches left on his three-game ban.