Mikel Arteta has revealed that the club had decided on sending Reiss Nelson out on loan, but the player’s willingness to stay and fight made him keep him.
So far, he has only featured in the carabao cup game against Leicester. But the boss was adamant that Nelson will get his chance, and it’s up to him to take it.
“It was mixed reasons, Reiss was really convinced that he wanted to fight to stay here,” he explained.
“And when you see that willingness and that passion and that security in a player, you feel tempted to keep him even though you know that opportunities are going to be restricted and he is not going to have a lot of continuity in his play.
“We ended up with a large squad at the end of the transfer market. We had a few plans in mind with Reiss. One of them was as well to send him on loan to get more minutes because of the competition we have upfront.
“But things change very quickly and if he starts playing, and playing well, and he does what he can do, why not? He could start to play more games.”
He added: “The reality is he has been really good in training. He wants to stay here. He wants to fight for his place.
“That is what he is doing and he is going to get the chances in the right moments. What I am pleased with is how he has assimilated the situation – not playing a lot of minutes in the first few weeks.
“As everybody can see, things are changing very quickly. We are getting injuries. We will get more injuries because of the schedule that we have and he will get the opportunities. Then it will come down to him to take them or not.
“I try to have a very open communication with the players and try to get the doubts out of their mind, and try to talk clearly when they play or don’t play the reasons behind that.
“Most of the time they haven’t done anything wrong, it is just because there is a lot of competition for these positions and we are favouring other players in that moment. That’s it.”