Nelson still chasing Arsenal dream as he uses Hoffenheim loan as stepping stone

The Gunners academy graduate admits he was not initially sold on a spell away from the Emirates, but is looking to make the most of a stint in Germany

Reiss Nelson admits it is “still my dream to play for Arsenal”, with the youngster having accepted a loan switch to Hoffenheim despite initially being against a move away from north London.

At just 18 years of age, a Gunners academy graduate is hoping a spell spreading his wings in Europe will see him returned to Emirates Stadium a better player.

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He has already seen senior minutes, with Arsene Wenger recognising his potential during the 2017-18 campaign, but Unai Emery is favouring other options at present.

Nelson, who has managed two goals in four outings for Hoffenheim, intends to force his way into a new manager’s plans at Arsenal, with it is belief that time working under the highly-rated Julian Nagelsmann will prove beneficial to his ongoing development.

He told the Football Association after linking up with England’s U21 squad for the first time: “A loan wasn’t always my first option, but when I heard the Bundesliga and Hoffenheim was an option for me and working with the manager there, it was something I wanted to do.

“Julian’s a great manager and he’s got belief in young players so it’s a good place for me to go and play.

“He’s very young, he’s only 31 and I think it’s important to go to a team and a coach who believes in you, so he was the main reason because he is willing to play us.

“It was hard to leave my boyhood club Arsenal, it’s still my dream to play for Arsenal, but I know I have to put that on hold and go and play abroad to get some experience in Germany.

“So, I’m trying to do my stuff there, get stronger and come back ready to play for Arsenal’s first team, so I had to take the opportunity to go there.

“I’ve settled in well and I’m enjoying it. My dad is German too, from near Munich, so I knew what to expect and I’m learning the language with an app called Babbel and it’s going well.”

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