But the Englishman never really received enough minutes in the red and whites despite breaking into the senior squad back under Arsene Wenger. Under the new management of Unai Emery, Nelson was allowed to develop further over a loan spell at Hoffenheim where he became the first teenager to score over 6 goals since Roberto Firmino.
Nevertheless, despite experiencing brief first-team action for the Londoners, the youngster did not fail to impress as his talent was acknowledged even by rival fans. The wideman brings a lot of flair and ambition in attack, which has been missing since the prime days of The Walcott.
So it begs the question, is it time the England U23 international be given a proper crack at the first team? The player himself definitely thinks so.
I learned a lot of stuff,” the winger said [via Telegraph]. “I made a lot of friends, and also I made a good connection with the managers.
“They taught me a lot of stuff that I can take on in my career. It was difficult, leaving, but Arsenal are my team and I want to go back to Arsenal and play.
“I am Arsenal through and through. I support Arsenal. All my family support Arsenal. That’s an interaction I have with the fans. It’s a good thing.
“They support a lot of the young talent coming up through Arsenal. It’s good.”
“I have got a bit bigger,” he added. “I was playing at Arsenal when I was 17, when Wenger gave me my Premier League debut against Southampton, so I was very immature when I was playing.
“Now I have a more mature role about me. I look to play link-up play, one v ones, and I think I am more mature.”
The young prospect believes he has what it takes to be given a shot at the highest level which is great to see. Coupled that with his amazing loan stint in Germany and the Gunners’ desperate need for wingers, Nelson could be the one to step up and make a mark. It could be the cheapest alternative to Emery’s winger crisis.
Though it is a big risk, it’s a risk worth taking because the positives outweigh the negatives.