Look back to a short time ago, Serge Gnabry barely registered a raised eyebrow – now he is on his way to Werder Bremen, according to Sky Germany.
Last season he was consigned to the Arsenal reserves after being rescued from a nightmare loan spell at West Brom which was meant to last the length of the season, but Arsenal recalled Gnabry in January as he rusted with disuse.
Gnabry valiantly played the second half of the season with the Gunners youngsters, in a bid to not only gain match fitness – but confidence.
The young German’s standing in his home nation was still high however, and this summer saw Serge travel to Rio with Germany as part of the their Olympic football team – and remind everyone why Wenger has held onto him for so long.
Gnabry scored six goals in Germany’s run to the final, earning a silver medal and using the worlds biggest stage as a personal showcase for his talents. His rapier runs into the box, constantly looking for space and his enviable talent of taking on and beating defenders meant that he wreaked merry havoc, and saw him appear on radars at other clubs.
One of those clubs was mid-table fodder Werder Bremen. A return home may be a prospect too hard to refuse for the German native, regardless of Bundesliga standing.
According to major news sources, including Sky Sports, Gnabry has signed for Bremen, and mystifyingly, Bayern Munich has been the fiscal force behind the transaction.
When Arsene Wenger allowed Joel Campbell to go on loan to Sporting Lisbon for the season, most – including me – thought it was to allow the Costa Rican some football – and also to make room in the squad for the return of Gnabry.
Wenger has always backed his man, and it would be strange for him to suddenly veer 180 degrees and agree to discard with him. Has Gnabry expressed his desire to leave? Wouldn’t a loan suffice? There are questions that must be answered, but Gnabry may just have had his head turned by advances from back home.
Serge has one year remaining on his contract, and the lure of Germany may just be too strong. It does leave our options out wide a little short, but with wide forwards Alexis and Lucas Perez, there are options to utilise.
Either way, the kindly reminder Serge gave to all with his wonderful efforts in Rio ensured that most fans are not keen on dispensing with his services. Gnabry has made his choice however. With the fee being as low as is reported – some stories say it looks to be between £5-7m – the youngster looks to have forced Wengers hand somewhat as Arsenal will not have been keen to lose him for such a frivolous figure.
One year left on his contract, with a player keen on a move? Arsenal have been forced into a corner, and it is down to Dick Law to ensure a buy-back clause is inserted, as Serge may just have a stellar future.