Reiss Nelson has taken the Bundesliga by storm with his five goals in six appearances with Hoffenheim, but his latest against Bayer Leverkusen was the result of tactical planning from his coach Julian Nagelsmann.
TSG ran out 4-1 winners at Leverkusen on Matchday 10, and it was Nelson who got the scoring underway with a stunning curling effort from the left-hand edge of the penalty area. It came about after the 18-year-old’s quick thinking to come short for a corner from Vincenzo Grifo. While there was an element of luck involved in the finish as Nelson lost his footing, it was very much a planned attack.
Watch: Click play on the video below to see Nelson's stunner at Leverkusen
“The coach told me they fall asleep at corners,” Nelson told the Independent of his tactical tip from Nagelsmann. “So we played it short, they were slow to close me down and I had plenty of space.”
And it isn’t the first piece of advice the Bundesliga’s youngest coach has given his English protégé to great effect. “He told me to get into space or create space for the team. When I’ve got the chance to run one-on-one then I should. He gives me confidence.”
There has also been praise from other quarters in Sinsheim, with goalkeeper Oliver Baumann waxing lyrical about the England U21 international. “The lad has so much talent. It’s savage. He helps us so much and he’s still only 18.”
Watch: Nelson gives his thoughts after hitting his fifth league goal of the season
Nelson himself, however, believes he can do even more for his side: “I can bring goals to the team, but it’s just the start of my career here. It’s also not just goals, I need to do other things for the team like tracking back and getting involved in the play. Hopefully I can go on.”