Arsenal winger discusses the debt he owes his brother, his worries on loan in the Bundesliga and what makes Mikel Arteta different

One of the clearest memories Reiss Nelson holds of the day he made his Arsenal debut comes from its aftermath, when the intense satisfaction had given way to a fuzzy glow. He had barely played five minutes as a substitute in the 2017 Community Shield against Chelsea, but Wembley was hardly an inadequate launchpad for a 17-year-old’s career. His older brother, Ricky, knew the achievement’s scale better than anyone and, to both siblings, it felt at once like a moment of attainment and one of departure.

“He said to me: ‘Reiss, I think you’re on the way to the top now so I can kind of leave you be; you know what you want to do,’” Nelson remembers. For years Ricky had made a mission of keeping Reiss’s focus on football, which was no easy task for anyone growing up in south-east London’s Aylesbury estate. You needed talent to come this far, but also the right role models on hand. “Without him,” he says, “I don’t know if I’d be here today doing the good things I’m doing for Arsenal.”

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