It’s been somewhat of a meteoric rise for Serge Gnabry, hasn’t it? Just over three-and-a-half years ago, Tony Pulis told the media that Gnabry was not “at the level to play games”, and just days ago, Bayern Munich won yet another Bundesliga, with the 22-year-old playing a key role in the title win.
Gnabry’s loan move to West Bromwich Albion made sense at the time. The German had failed to make a senior appearance for Arsenal the previous season, despite featuring in numerous games prior. He needed first-team exposure and experience and, it seemed at West Brom, he would get that.
Though, for one reason or another, Pulis did not particularly favour Gnabry as he only made just two cup appearances, featured once in the Premier League appearance all season and only made the match-day squad five more times after that.
The loan deal was cut short in January, as he was recalled to the Gunners having spent time with the Baggies’ under-23’s, only for him to go and do the same in North London in the latter stage of the season.
It was understandable that Gnabry then wanted to move on and so he did to Werder Bremen. Having netted 11 goals and provided two assists for Bremen in just 27 Bundesliga appearances, Gnabry was soon off again just under a year later, this time to Bayern Munich.
Bayern loaned him straight out to 1899 Hoffenheim where he once again proved his talent when he has faith placed in him to perform regularly as he netted 10 times and assisted seven in 22 games under Julian Nagelsmann, helping the club to the third spot in the Bundesliga in the process.
At this point, it seemed right for him to return to Bavaria and try to establish a regular starting spot. With Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben both in their final year at the club, Gnabry now had the chance to stake his claim to be one of their successors on the wing for years to come.
Over the course of last season, in 41 appearances he helped out with 13 goals and nine assists, proving to be very effective in terms of his attacking output, even when featuring off the bench. Now, he looks set to feature heavily for the champions in the coming years, after more than proving he has got the ability for both club and country’s standards.
How things can change in a short space of time. Only Arsene Wenger and Pulis will know their reasoning for not placing enough faith in Gnabry, but regardless, it just goes to show that when a youngster is trusted to perform consistently, however raw their talent may be, the sky is their limit.
Baggies, what are some of your standout memories of Gnabry? Join the discussion by commenting below…
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