Nelson is the future for Arsenal, but needs to believe in himself - Parlour
Reiss Nelson is "such a good player" but needs to produce the goods for Arsenal "on a more regular basis", according to Ray Parlour.
Nelson played a starring role in the Gunners' 2-0 win over Portsmouth on Monday night, providing two assists to help the team book their place in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.
The 20-year-old fired in a powerful low cross for Sokratis to turn home right on half-time, before repeating the trick for Eddie Nketiah's benefit in the 51st minute at Fratton Park.
Arsenal welcomed Nelson back from a successful loan spell at Hoffenheim last summer, and he has since racked up 15 appearances across all competitions, scoring twice.
Parlour was impressed by the winger's latest performance, and thinks he is "the future" for the Gunners on the right-hand side due to his electrifying pace and quality in the final third of the pitch.
“Two assists again. His record has been excellent," the ex-Arsenal midfielder told talkSPORT.
“You can see his pace, especially on the second goal – the way he went past that left-back once he dropped his shoulder and pushed it on he was gone.
“You can’t catch someone like that.
“He is certainly the future for Arsenal on that side.”
Parlour did, however, go on to express his belief that Nelson needs to "demand the ball a lot more" in order to fulfil his full potential, with a lack of belief in his own ability holding him back at present.
“If I was to have one critique of him, it is that he needs to believe in himself a bit more, because he is such a good player," Parlour added.
“He’s got to demand the ball a lot more and run at players a lot more, because he’s got all the tricks to get past players and put balls into the box. He just needs to be on it on a more regular basis.
“You get players who come into the side and sometimes the game can go by them. You’ve got to want the ball a little bit more and get into areas where you can’t get picked up.
“That is what he’s got to learn as he gets into the team a little bit more. He needs to be easy to find if you are on his team, but hard to mark if you are against him.”
Nelson will be back in contention for a place in Mikel Arteta's starting XI on Saturday, when Arsenal welcome West Ham to Emirates Stadium for a crucial London derby.