Former Arsenal starlet Serge Gnabry has provided fans of the Gunners with a glimmer of hope regarding a possible return to the club down the line.
Explosive wide-man Gnabry was on the books of Premier League giants Arsenal from 2011 to 2016.
On the back of his arrival in north London from Stuttgart’s youth academy, expectations, amongst those who had previously watched Gnabry in action, were sky-high.
However, after finding game-time increasingly hard to come by as the years passed, including during a loan spell with West Brom, the German international eventually made the decision to depart the Emirates on a permanent basis in the summer of 2016, returning to his home country to join Werder Bremen.
It was only after his move to perennial Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich a year later, though, that fans truly began to stand up and take notice of the attacker’s talents.
Gnabry has turned potential into finished product whilst at the Allianz Arena, and is now widely viewed as one of world football’s finest in his position.
His combination of blistering pace, close control and ruthless finishing ability on either foot make the 25-year-old a nightmare to deal with for opposing defenders, with his exploits last season evidence of just how far Gnabry has truly come.
The former Hoffenhein loanee bagged a hugely impressive 24 goals and 13 assists across all competitions, playing an integral role in Bayern Munich’s eventual romp to the treble.
Harsh on Lyon but this Bayern side are absolutely ruthless!
There’s so much talent in the side, they will always make you pay for your missed chances – Gnabry proving just that with this sensational strike! 🚀pic.twitter.com/UEDq5gZx7R
— 90min (@90min_Football) August 19, 2020
As Gnabry’s star continues to rise, though, fans, along with those in a position of power on the red half of north London, have of course been left to wonder what might might have been.
The German, who has also managed to net a staggering 14 goals in just 15 appearances for his country, could so easily have still been lining out in Arsenal’s colours, had things unfolded differently at the Emirates.
And, as outlined above, this is a subject which Gnabry himself was briefly drawn on during an interview this week.
Speaking to CBS, the gifted winger admitted that, if handed the opportunity to go back in time, he would make the move to the English capital all over again, highlighting how crucial the decision was to not only his development as a player, but as a person:
‘Most of all it’s a test of character. You have to leave your comfort zone, your friends, your family. It helps you a lot in building strong character because you’re in some way by yourself or in a whole new environment.’
‘It’s always good for young people. I would recommend them to do it.’
‘I would do it over again if I was in that position because it helped my character a lot. You experience new things, also in other countries the leagues and teaching of football is also good. It’s never a wrong thing to move abroad.’
Even more significant from an Arsenal perspective, though, was Gnabry’s response when drawn on the possibility of returning to the Premier League down the line.
Whilst the 25-year-old was eager to reiterate just how happy he remains in Bavaria, he also went on to admit that, if he was to one day decide to reignite his Premier League career, the Gunners would be ‘the favourite’ for his signature.
On the widely documented criticism of Tony Pulis, whom Gnabry previously lined out for during a loan spell with West Brom, meanwhile, the Bayern standout continued:
‘You always hear a little bit about it or people in the UK ask me about it.’
‘It looks like it won’t stop, all I can say is I’m proud of the journey I’ve taken.’
‘To be a Champions League winner now when a couple of years back I was doubted is obviously a great thing for me.’
‘Of course after having struggled a lot it was difficult to pick myself up. The biggest thing is that self-confidence, that I knew what I was capable of. I never lost that. Obviously, you doubt it at some points but I never lost it.’
‘The second biggest point in that way is I was playing a lot, not having so many injuries, so many little things that kept me out of games. To just be consistent and being able to play every time, showing my performance helped me for the future. If I can play, I can show what I can do.’
This article was edited by Josh Barker.
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