Since signing for Werder Bremen, Serge Gnabry has gone from strength to strength and you can’t help but imagine Arsene Wenger will always watch him with a tinge of sadness.
The boss wanted to keep Gnabry. He made that clear before and during the German’s move to the Bundesliga.
“We didn’t want to get rid of Gnabry, we wanted to keep him,” Wenger said.
“But he was in the last year of his contract. We were close to extending his contract but finally he changed his mind and went to Werder Bremen.
“But I think we taught him a lot and I think if you ask him he would agree with that.”
At Werder, the forward has scored four goals and assisted two in nine appearances, which is amazing. And on his debut for the Germany senior squad, he scored a hattrick. Although it was against San Marino, it was still a hell of a welcome to international football.
Although Gnabry credited Arsenal with where he is today, that doesn’t make it better. I suppose the worst part of it for Wenger is that he always knew Gnabry was brilliant. He was always a fan; always wanted to keep him. It was the player who wanted to leave because Wenger couldn’t guarantee him the regular first team football he wanted.
“Without being in England, I would not be the player I am now,” he said [via Sport1].
“There was Arsenal’s quick playing style, for example, which I learned.
“When you are a young player and you get to train with such top players as there are at Arsenal for three years then of course you take something away with you and it improves you.
“That was definitely the case with me. I probably would not be here now if I had not been in England.”
I’m sure we’ll see the 21-year-old continue to grow at Werder before they make a killing selling him on in a couple of years.
Meanwhile, Wenger will be watching on thinking: I knew it all along.