Gareth Southgate hands England warning to Reiss Nelson

England manager Gareth Southgate has sent a warning to youngster Reiss Nelson, who has impressed on loan at Hoffenheim from Premier League club Arsenal. The 18-year-old has been in fine form for the Bundesliga club this term with six goals from just eight league appearances but Southgate has indicated that he cannot just ‘roll up’ to earn his maiden Three Lions cap.

Speaking to Standard Sport, Southgate said: “We really like Reiss. He came and trained with us in September. He is doing okay with Hoffenheim and we think that he and some other players in the Under-21s have got big futures. I always liked his personality on the field and he is one of a number of attacking players who will push for places in the coming years, but he is not the only one and it is important we keep pushing him. I don’t want him to be thinking that he has just got to roll up and he’s the next one, because there is really good competition for places.”

Furthermore, Southgate highlighted that the likes of James Maddison, Mason Mount, Ryan Sessegnon, and Demarai Gray among others are waiting on the wings for similar chances and Nelson would have to get over the competition to stake the claim for a national team role. A recent report suggested that Nelson could potentially be recalled by the Gunners amid a season-ending injury for Danny Welbeck but manager Unai Emery has recently suggested that may not be the case with the club keen to gauge the teenager’s progress over the course of the campaign.

Nelson has started from the bench in each of the Hoffenheim’s previous three matches but he could feature from the off when the club entertain Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League on Tuesday night. Hoffenheim are currently three points behind Lyon in their group and a victory over Shakhtar Donetsk remains pivotal for them, should the French club surprise leaders Manchester City for the second time this season.