Arsenal manager Unai Emery has admitted that he has been impressed with the performances of Reiss Nelson since he made the switch to Hoffenheim on a season-long loan. The teenager signed a fresh three-year deal with the Gunners during the summer but he was thereafter loaned out to Hoffenheim with Emery not being able to assure him of gametime.

Since then, the 18-year-old has taken his opportunities with both hands after contributing six goals from just eight league appearances and this recently witnessed him secure the rookie of the month award for October. Speaking to reporters, Emery acknowledged that Nelson has impressed the Gunners since his temporary move to the Bundesliga but hinted that the club may not recall him at the turn of the year.

He said: “Firstly, we are happy when one player is leaving to play [on loan], take responsibility, take rhythm and take a high level like Reiss Nelson in Hoffenheim. We are following him and his performances, his good performances, and also his playing minutes. For us, it’s very important to follow him and his performances that he’s giving. His progress has been great. In pre-season he worked with us but here minutes and responsibilities are more difficult because he’s young and the decision to leave is important for him and for us. I think at the moment he’s progressing how we want.”

With the season-ending injury to Danny Welbeck, there have been plenty of reports suggesting that Nelson could be recalled during the New Year but does not appear the case for Emery. When quizzed on a potential Welbeck replacement, Emery recently suggested that Eddie Nketiah could earn some gametime after impressing for the Under 23s over the past 18 months. Arsenal are currently fifth on the Premier League table with 27 points, just one behind Chelsea, who are occupying the final Champions League position.