Ray Parlour tells Arsenal winger Reiss Nelson he must improve in one key area

Arsenal winger Reiss Nelson
Nelson spent a year on loan at Hoffenheim last season (Picture: Getty Images)

Arsenal legend Ray Parlour is confident Reiss Nelson is among a clutch of academy graduates who represents the ‘future’ of the club.

The 20-year-old assisted both goals in the Gunners’ 2-0 victory over Portsmouth in the FA Cup on Monday night.

Nelson has struggled for starts since returning from a year-long loan spell at Bundesliga side Hoffenheim, where he scored seven league goals.

However, ex-England international Parlour is certain the forward will make the step up, he told talkSPORT: ‘You can see his pace, especially on the second goal – the way he went past that left-back once he dropped his shoulder and pushed it on he was gone.

‘You can’t catch someone like that. He is certainly the future for Arsenal on that side.’

In order to make significant progress under Arteta, Parlour says the youngster needs to focus on becoming a more forceful presence on the pitch.

The Gunners hero added: ‘He’s got to demand the ball a lot more and run at players a lot more, because he’s got all the tricks to get past players and put balls into the box. He just needs to be on it on a more regular basis.’

‘You get players who come into the side and sometimes the game can go by them. You’ve got to want the ball a little bit more and get into areas where you can’t get picked up.

‘That is what he’s got to learn as he gets into the team a little bit more.

‘He needs to be easy to find if you are on his team, but hard to mark if you are against him.’

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