Serge Gnabry left our club in the summer of 2016. It appeared to be a brave, perhaps foolish move on the part of the youngster in a bid to gain more first team experience. He was on the fringes of the team at Arsenal, but this wasn’t enough for the ambitious German.
A quick look at his career whilst in London appears to justify Gnabry’s boldness in his career move however. Five years were spent attempting to break through into Arsene Wenger’s first team plans, but the winger made just ten appearances in all that time.
A loan move to West Brom only exacerbated his woes in England, as Baggies boss Tony Pulis had nothing but disdain for Gnabry’s talents, using him less than sparingly and this set back any plans Gnabry had on pushing on.
There were a few who lamented the youngster’s transfer back to Germany, but there were precious few who predicted the immediate impact he would make in his first season back in his homeland with Werder Bremen.
His new club are currently as I write, level on points with the threshold of the Bundesliga dropzone. Bremen fans are understandably in low spirits, but Gnabry is providing a spark that the rest of the Werder squad seem unable to.
Ten goals in 21 games as I write represents an excellent goal ration, especially for a wideman rather than a striker. When you take into account how young Gnabry is – the German is still only 21 years old – then his blistering season appears even better. Gnabry has exploded onto everyone’s consciousness, including German coach Jogi Low.
Arsenal had fair warning about what potential Gnabry had. The Gunners were given a timely reminder of what a precious commodity they had in their ranks just weeks before Gnabry was allowed to leave.
Gnabry was part of the Silver medal winning German football team in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Gnabry was a vital part of the eleven and ended the tournament as joint top scorer. Gnabry couldn’t do much more to show Wenger and the club he was ready to jump into the team. Instead, Gnabry opted to leave. .
Our club are obviously struggling at present, with the Champions League exit at the hands of Bayern Munich only compounding the misery around our malaise this campaign. Could Gnabry have changed things if he were still on the scene?
His dynamism appears to be sorely missed and a weapon we could have really utilised, but instead we get to see his talents on a different stage.
There were reports that Gnabry had a buyback clause in his contract, inserted via a request from Arsenal as a condition of his sale. If this was the case, his move to Bayern Munich burns just a little.
Now that Gnabry has decided to leave Bremen after just one season to move to the giants in Munich, this whole fiasco leaves a bitter taste, and yet another talented player has swapped their Arsenal shirt for another club.