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Reiss Nelson makes unwanted Arsenal history before kicking a ball against Luton Town

Reiss Nelson makes unwanted Arsenal history before kicking a ball against Luton Town

Nelson has been named in the Arsenal starting XI by Mikel Arteta.

Reiss Nelson has created a piece of Arsenal club history against Luton Town - before even entering the pitch for kick-off.

Arsenal's number 24 has been named in the starting XI by manager Mikel Arteta in what is a much-changed side.

Gabriel Jesus, Declan Rice and Gabriel Martinelli all miss out from the team that drew 0-0 against Manchester City on Sunday, and are all on the bench.

Bukayo Saka, meanwhile, misses out entirely through injury.

Thomas Partey, Leandro Trossard and Oleksandr Zinchenko all come into the side, while there is also a rare start for midfielder Emile Smith Rowe.

Nelson is the other beneficiary of Arteta's team selection - and, as per OptaJoe, is making his first start for the club in a staggering 1,358 days.

That means the winger has set a new record among continuously active Arsenal players for the longest gap between starts, having last featured from the beginning of a competitive match back in July 2020.

He is actually third in the all-time list behind Mathieu Flamini (five years, 162 days) and Sol Campbell (three years, 296 days), but the time difference between their starts was spread between two different spells at the club.

Nelson, meanwhile, has stayed with Arsenal ever since graduating from their academy.

He signed a new four-year contract with the club in June, with his previous deal having been due to expire that month amid interest from other clubs.

Getty/The Arsenal Football Club

And while he hasn't earned the playing time he would have liked, Arteta spoke at his contract signing of his importance to the Gunners squad: "Reiss is a player I have admired since the first day I was here.

"He has tremendous ability and is such an exciting offensive talent. Reiss knows how important he is to our squad with the quality he has.

"It's great that Reiss has committed his future to us - he knows this club so well, he grew up here and we look forward to enjoying many more good moments with him."

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Arsenal, Mikel Arteta, Luton Town, Premier League, Football