Arsenal's Reiss Nelson inspired by Callum Hudson-Odoi's England rise

Nelson reveals Per Mertesacker advice: "It’s not always about football"

Reiss Nelson 1:01
Arsenal and England U21 midfielder Reiss Nelson tells Sky Sports News that Callum Hudson-Odoi's rise is making him more motivated

Arsenal and England U21 midfielder Reiss Nelson says Callum Hudson-Odoi's rapid rise is fuelling his motivation to succeed.

Nelson, 19, impressed in his first few months of a season-long loan at Bundesliga side Hoffenheim, scoring six goals in his first four months.

But while Jadon Sancho has been labelled "one of the greatest talents we've seen here" by Borussia Dortmund supporters, Nelson has struggled for game time in 2019.

Sancho 0:34
'The best player we've had in 10 years' - Borussia Dortmund's fans give their view on England 18-year-old Jadon Sancho

Callum Hudson-Odoi has been accelerated through to join Sancho in England's senior squad for their opening European Qualifiers despite not starting a Premier League game for Chelsea, though.

England U21 vs Poland U21 preview

England U21 vs Poland U21 preview

England U21s come into their home friendly with Poland on Thursday on a run of 18 games unbeaten under Aidy Boothroyd.

And Nelson is using Hudson-Odoi's journey to drive himself on.

Callum Hudson-Odoi has been called up to the England squad for the first time
Image: Callum Hudson-Odoi has been called up to the England squad for the first time

"I've played against him in the youth league when he was at Chelsea," Nelson told Sky Sports News. "He's my friend so you want to get there as well.

"It's very inspiring, just wants to make you push even more, train even harder and get to that level."

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Nelson maintains German football has been good for him, "not just on the pitch, off the pitch as well".

Reiss Nelson is part of England's U21 squad
Image: Reiss Nelson is part of England's U21 squad

It is something Arsenal's new academy director, Per Mertesacker, keeps reminding him about.

"I'm learning different culture," said Nelson. "I'm taking in the environment.

"Per's just been very direct to me, telling me it's not always about football sometimes it's about off the pitch.

"He tells me 'you're learning a new language, new environment, just keep up with your performances'."

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