Arsenal winger Reiss Nelson knew Mikel Arteta would become a successful manager after being coached by the Spaniard aged 12-13 years old.
Nelson came through the Arsenal academy and as he progressed through the ranks, the current Arsenal boss Arteta became his coach during his youth.
Quotes curtesy of The Athletic:
“(Mikel Arteta) was my coach when I was 12, 13 years old,” he recalls. “Even at that age, I felt he was going to do certain things because there were other player-coaches there but they weren’t really engaging as much.
“Mikel was one of the ones who would run a one-v-one drill with a defender and me attacking them, and he’d be giving me little coaching advice like, ‘When you get too close to a defender, use this foot’, or, ‘Use the outside of your body to move like this’.”
Arteta remembers the boy he coached as a “special talent” but Nelson hasn’t quite found a consistent level of performance with the north London side.
The now 23-year-old spent last season on loan at Dutch side Feyenoord.
Nelson has been handed opportunities since Arteta became manager in 2019 and he has made seven appearances this season, although a thigh injury has plagued his game time.
He is now back in full training however and the former England Under-21 international will likely be a key member of the Gunners squad as they bid to win the Premier League title for the first time since 2004.
Mark Marston | Get Football