Arsenal: Reiss Nelson number swap can only mean good things

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 13: Reiss Nelson of Arsenal dribbles the ball during the match between Sydney FC and Arsenal FC at ANZ Stadium on July 13, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 13: Reiss Nelson of Arsenal dribbles the ball during the match between Sydney FC and Arsenal FC at ANZ Stadium on July 13, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

Arsenal youngster Reiss Nelson has been spotted wearing Nacho Monreal’s number, which could mean a lot of things, none of which are bad.

No Arsenal youngster has made a more impressive go of this preseason than 17-year old Reiss Nelson. The Englishman is already tipped to have a bright future, but given how rarely these things actually pan out, supporters would be in the right to be skeptical and demand proof.

Related Story: Arsenal's Predicted FIFA 18 Player Ratings

While it is only the preseason, Nelson has given us all kinds of proof. He has looked like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain back in the day when he first broke into the first team with his energetic runs and unbridled enthusiasm on the ball.

And it only gets better.

In some recent photographs (as pointed out by the Metro), Nelson can be spotted wearing the No. 18 shirt, which has previously resided on the back of Nacho Monreal. Meaning that not only has Nelson helped himself into the first team picture, but there are about to be some serious changes.

We know Monreal isn’t going anywhere because he is simply too valuable to the defensive set-up. But with Kieran Gibbs and Mathieu Debuchy both set to depart, it would make sense if Monreal went for the abandoned No. 3 or No. 2 shirts, which in turn would free up his own No. 18.

Both of the outdated fullbacks need to be sold and the sooner they can, the sooner Reiss Nelson’s first team dream can become a reality.

More from Pain in the Arsenal

Nelson was superb last year with the youth set-up, scoring 13 goals and assisting eight across all levels and all competitions. But as a U23 stalwart on the right wing, he contributed seven of those 13 total goals and all eight of his assists as he made the most of his 1,950 minutes of game time. Meaning that he contributed to a goal every 130 minutes.

Not a bad clip for the young man.

Swapping right wing for right wingback is going to be a transition, but there’s no reason why he can’t do it. He has the athleticism and his strength can be improved upon to make him the next Oxlade-Chamberlain and before you know it, we will have two Ox’s, and well, it doesn’t get much better than that.

Clearing out the old guard of irrelevant players will free up some needed space for what the Gunners truly need – fire. And that will come in the form of these youngsters, who will have so many chances to prove themselves in actual competitions like the League and FA Cup and probably the Europa League too.

Next: 3 Reasons Missing Out On Thomas Lemar Not So Bad

Hopefully Nelson can be that next great success story. The kid is only 17 years old, it’s hard to see how he wouldn’t be.