Mikel Arteta explains Reiss Nelson’s recent absence for Arsenal

Nelson has mostly featured in cup competitions this season
Nelson has mostly featured in cup competitions this season (Picture: Getty Images)

Mikel Arteta has confirmed that Reiss Nelson has been nursing a minor muscle injury and that’s why he has been absent for Arsenal of late.

The winger impressed in several Europa League clashes for the Gunners this season, registering a goal and assist in just three starts in the competition.

His energetic displays earned him a few cameos in the Premier League but he hasn’t featured in a senior matchday squad since December 3.

Arteta's side's fortunes have begun to turn around
Arteta’s side’s fortunes have begun to turn around (Picture: Getty Images)

Nelson has been linked with a loan move away from the Emirates in the January transfer window with fellow wingers Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, Willian and Nicolas Pepe all seemingly ahead of him in the pecking order.

However, speaking ahead of Arsenal’s clash against West Brom on Saturday, Arteta admitted that the only reason for the 21-year-old’s absence is down to the fact that he hasn’t been fully fit.

‘He had a little niggle he’s not been 100 per cent,’ Arteta said.

‘He’s had a muscular issue. He’s been in and out of training, he’s not been 100 per cent.

‘It’s a shame because I felt he was getting into his performance levels, he started to have some really good games and he was starting to build that momentum.

‘This little injury set him back a little bit. But I think he’s been much better.’

When asked whether he’s being saved for a January move, Arteta replied: ‘No. Only it’s my mistake then not clarify the situation what is happening.

‘But yeah, he’s not been 100 per cent fit. That’s the reason why he’s been out and he’s not been featuring with the squad.’

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