Back in March, Serge Gnabry signed a contract extension with Bayern Munich and one of the biggest talents to slip through Arsenal’s grasp has become the player we all hoped he would be, but why did he leave in the first place?
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.”
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 24-year-old has 18 goals and 12 assists in 50 appearances, including, of course, four against Spurs in their biggest ever home defeat.
At Arsenal, Gnabry made only 18 first-team appearances, scoring a single goal and creating two.
This article was first published on 7 March 2019 and has been updated to reflect Serge’s exploits against Tottenham on Tuesday night and the date changed to move it to the top of the site.