Date:6th May 2022 at 8:00pm
Written by:

Arsenal loanee Reiss Nelson’s Feyenoord faced fellow Gunners Matteo Guendouzi and William Saliba’s Marseille in the second leg of the Europa Conference League semi-final last night.

Nelson has been at Arsenal since he was just nine years old. He came through the ranks at Hale End with so much expected of him after impressing during his time at the academy. Sadly, he hasn’t quite been able to nail down a starting spot under Mikel Arteta, which is why he was sent out on loan last summer.

Matteo Guendouzi, on the other hand, was viewed by many as a future star at Arsenal after his incredible debut season under Unai Emery. However, things hadn’t gone to plan the following campaign after falling out with Mikel Arteta and was eventually forced out of the club, joining Marseille.

After the game last night, the pair shared a little moment together on the touchline.

Feyenoord picked up an impressive 3-2 win in the first leg last week, but the game was far from done. Many expected Marseille to turn things around, but the Dutch giants firmly held on to claim their place in their first European final since 2002.

Nelson, Guendouzi and William Saliba all featured in the game that ended 0-0.

Nelson and Guendouzi, who shared the dressing room at Arsenal during their time together at the Emirates, embraced each other after the game yesterday.

Feyenoord’s official Twitter handle posted the video with the message: “A Gunner respects a Gunner.” They also comically CC’d the Gunners in the tweet.

Our thoughts…

Mikel Arteta certainly has major decisions to make at the end of the campaign regarding the future of his loanees.

Guendouzi will leave Arsenal on a permanent deal this summer. Clauses included in his loan deal have reportedly been met, which obligates Marseille to sign him at the end of this season.

Nelson and Saliba’s futures, however, are up in the air.

The Englishman has just a year left on his current deal, but has more than managed to impress Arteta during his loan spell, especially in the last few months, now into double figures for goals and assists this season, with 11.

Saliba, on the other hand, will have two years left on his deal and a big decision awaits him. He too has enjoyed a remarkable season at Marseille. According to WhoScored, the 22-year-old rock averages a very impressive 93.2% pass accuracy out the back, more than both of Arteta’s centre-back options in Gabriel and Ben White.

Arsenal will need quality options at centre-back next year and the Frenchman certainly fits the bill.

If the club want to keep hold of him, they’ll have to extend his deal, which may not be easy as it’s unlikely that Arteta can guarantee regular game time for the talented French defender.