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Arsenal’s teenage prospect Reiss Nelson says he’s ready to capitalise on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s exit by grabbing any first-team opportunities “with both hands.”
Nelson, 17, has created a huge buzz among Arsenal fans with his displays in the preseason and with the under-23s, where he has netted five goals in three games this campaign.
Nelson is a natural attacking midfielder but was used as a right wing-back by Wenger during the pre-season tour of Australia and China — the same position Oxlade-Chamberlain occupied after Arsenal’s switch to a back-three formation last season.
‘At the end of the day I’m a player and if the boss puts my in that position, I will do my best job for the team,’ Nelson told Arsenal Player.
“It’s a great feeling,” Nelson told the Arsenal website when asked about Wenger’s comments. “Along with Joe as well, we’re both still young players looking for the opportunity, so when things like that happen I think we’ll be ready for it and will take it with both hands.”
‘At the moment I’m playing in a front three (for the Under-23s) and I’m finding my goals there, and feeling really confident there.
‘At the moment I’m happy to play in a front three or, if I have to do it for the team, play right wing-back as well.
‘The boss said to me (on tour) to just play with freedom (at wing-back), play as I would normally play, I went out with that in mind and I think I showed that as well.
‘For the defending that I had to do, I decided to be smart and a lot of the older boys’ encouragement helped me to do that. It went well.’