Serge Gnabry recently signed a contract extension with Bayern Munich and one of the biggest talents to slip through Arsenal’s grasp looks like he will become the player we all hoped he would be, but why did he leave in the first place?

MUNICH, GERMANY - MARCH 05: Franck Ribery of FC Bayern München hugs Serge Gnabry of FC Bayern München during the training session at Saebener Strasse training ground on March 5, 2019 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Bongarts/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY – MARCH 05: Franck Ribery of FC Bayern München hugs Serge Gnabry of FC Bayern München during the training session at Saebener Strasse training ground on March 5, 2019 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Bongarts/Getty Images)

When Serge Gnabry left for Bayern Munich, via a backdoor deal that took him on ‘loan’ first, Arsenal fans were rightly annoyed. The club had stood by him for two years while he recovered from serious knee problems, he returned to fitness, starred at the Olympics and then buggered off.

Arsene Wenger tried to keep him, saying after the move, “We didn’t want to get rid of Gnabry, we wanted to keep him.

“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.”

ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 25: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger talks with player Serge Gnabry during a training session at London Colney on November 25, 2013 in St Albans, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
ST ALBANS, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 25: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger talks with player Serge Gnabry during a training session at London Colney on November 25, 2013 in St Albans, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Speaking back in 2016, Gnabry explained very clearly why he left Arsenal and it wasn’t because he felt he was developing at Arsenal, quite the opposite.

“It was the right decision,” Gnabry told Kicker. “Everybody who compares my development over the last four months to my time in England before that can’t come to a different conclusion.” His comments came after he had just been handed his first German call-up and scored a debut hattrick.

“That was the main reason for the transfer – I wanted to get more playing time and it worked,” he continued.”Arsenal wanted to keep me, badly, but I had to look after my development.

“If a player does not perform well, a club has no sympathy and they do not want to keep him.”

When Gnabry moved to Werder Bremen it was rumoured to be a ‘back door’ move to Bayern Munich which all the parties denied before Gnabry moved to Bayern Munich the following season.

Since his arrival in Munich, the 23-year-old has nine goals and seven assists in 31 appearances. At Arsenal, Gnabry made only 18 first-team appearances, scoring a single goal and creating two.

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.