Reiss Nelson is set to be unleashed by Arsenal in the Premier League.
Mikel Arteta‘s conundrum has not yet been solved. By hook or by crook, Arsenal have to broaden their approach to creating chances in the top-flight.
At a point where these issues are at their most perceptible, the welcoming of Wolves to the Emirates Stadium is not one to embrace. A five-man defence built on protection from all angles, slicing through their lines, especially when on their travels, is way down the list of preferred opposition. Nuno Espirito Santo’s side are as explosive as they are reserved.
Weaknesses exist in every side. Understanding these flaws and cashing in on them is the docket faced before the Gunners on Sunday. Reiss Nelson in the side tends to such needs.
Due to make his first Premier League start of the season in the absence of Nicolas Pepe and the uncertainty over injuries in other areas, instructing him to hone in on Wolves’ most stark deficiency is paramount. Nelson Semedo must be targeted.
The Portuguese full-back, now operating as a wing-back, is only warranting him place in Santo’s side for his price tag. Building a case for him to be deserving of his place for his defensive qualities? Not so much.
Wildly suspect off the ball and inattentive to peripheral danger, Nelson has the ideal candidate to aid his campaign for a regular starting berth. Coming in off that left flank is where he looks most dangerous, not just based off of Thursday’s win over Molde. His movement is aggressive, attacking the right spaces and causing danger with every touch forward.
Semedo has pace, unlike the rest of the Wolves man defensive trio. Dragging him out of place, fully achievable with both overlaps and diagonal movement, will isolate Nelson against those he has the nous to overwhelm.
Pressing high and structuring the team to handle Wolves’ counter-attacks accordingly is also essential, but giving Nelson to license to prey upon Semedo’s uncertainties offers a valid route to goal.
How much success is forthcoming in that area rests of the individual qualities the 20-year-old possesses, of course. However, Arsenal have never been better placed to see Nelson flourish than they are now. Meticulous in his training, stronger physically and with the platform to make a genuine difference in this team, Arteta boasts a potentially lethal weapon.