By 90Min
November 01, 2017

It could have all been so different for highly-rated youngster Reiss Nelson; how strangely the fickle finger of fate can work. 

Offered the chance to play in Tottenham Hotspur's youth set, the young forward's head was instantly turned when Arsenal showed their interest and signed him for their academy after one training session.

A lifelong Arsenal fan, Nelson could have been establishing himself in Mauricio Pochettino's first team and impressing the hordes of Spurs' supporters with his energetic displays, but given the opportunity to sign for his dream club it was a decision that was made without hesitation.

Srdjan Stevanovic/GettyImages

Nelson speaking to the club's weekly podcast, but reported via the  Evening Standard said: “I was nine years old, I used to play for a team in Catford. I would get up every morning with my brother, get on the train and travel to Catford three times a week.

“I was there for about two months playing for a team called Moonshot FC. I got scouted for Tottenham and was there for three to four weeks before a phone call from Arsenal came. The first session they wanted to sign me so, happy days, I didn’t look back.

“I’m an Arsenal fan, everyone in my family is Arsenal, so it wasn’t a hard decision.”

Laurence Griffiths/GettyImages

The England U19 international now finds himself regularly training with Wenger's first team squad, rather than the club's U23 side. Although there are noticeable differences, Nelson does not feel overawed by the added demands and expectations, he added: 

“The coaching is so much different and the environment – you’ve got loads of first team players and world-class players there. Alex Iwobi has really helped me. He’s always making jokes and seeing I’m okay."

Nelson has made a very encouraging start to his fleeting professional career, he is now seen by many at the north London club as the long term replacement for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain since his £40m move to Liverpool during the last transfer window.

This is high praise indeed after only making six senior appearances. However, he has already shown that he has the exceptional talent and self-confidence to have a long and distinguished career at the Emirates.  

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