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Arsenal academy chief Mertesacker lauds Nelson for courageous Hoffenheim move

Per Mertesacker says Reiss Nelson made the right decision leaving his "comfort zone" at Arsenal.

The teenager joined Hoffenheim on loan in the summer and has since scored six goals in 15 appearances.

And academy director Mertesacker has praised the Englishman for making a brave call.

"It was the best decision for him to go there," Mertesacker told Arsenal's matchday programme.

"When you compare the Bundesliga to the Premier League, there are similarities but there are differences.

"At the moment the Bundesliga suits him, and he went to a club where they are used to bringing up young players, educating young players and giving young players a chance in their first team. He has a young coach who will educate him and give him an insight.

"Reiss is getting out of the comfort zone he was in at Arsenal, so the loan system should work brilliantly for us.

"Some Bundesliga clubs are very interesting for us and the way he could make an impact at Hoffenheim was by starting on the bench but then scoring immediately.

"Through scoring those goals, he gained trust from the coach, from the fans, by learning some German and earning the right to start and make an impact.

"I think he has done a brilliant job but that all fell into place because he wanted to go."

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Freddie Taylor

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