Serge Gnabry Joins West Brom on Loan
In a club as ambitious and competitive like Arsenal, there are some players that have formed in the inner core of the club while there are others that contribute in some capacity to make the club a driving force in England. I would have said Europe as well but elimination from the Champions League first Knockout Round for five seasons in a row and made me to realistically lessen my expectations in Europe.
While it’s always good to have the experienced heads around to rally the troops when the chips are down, what about the youngsters that are hoping to make the grade at the club? Take the case of Jeff Reine-Adelaide that wowed the crowd in the Emirates Cup, showing glimpses of his sheer quality. How long would the fans have to wait before he breaks into the first team and with the vast array of talent currently at the club, would his chance come sooner, rather than later?
Yaya Sanogo is another player that falls into that class. Acquired from AJ Auxerre a couple of seasons ago for no coin and a big bag of raw potential, Sanogo was offered a couple of chances to show what he was made of and it’s fair to say that he has been able to grasp the opportunity afforded to him. C’mon, the manager dropped his alpha-dog in attack, Olivier Giroud, for an untested lad in the Champions League knockout round against Bayern Munich – is there any bigger show of faith a youngster can get from his manager? Right now, Sanogo is at the Amsterdam Arena with Ajax and this was simply because he couldn’t get ahead of Giroud, Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck in attack. With Walcott signing a long-term deal and Giroud doing his bit to fight for a starting berth, I don’t see Sanogo making it here at Arsenal.
Which brings me to the curious case of Serge Gnabry. After impressing at youth level, Wenger handed him his professional debut in the 2013/14 season and he enjoyed a run of games that saw him score his first goal against Swansea as well as winning a vital penalty in the away victory over Crystal Palace. Gnabry’s performances were recognized by FIFA and he was even nominated for the Golden Boy award that was eventually won by Juventus’ Paul Pogba.
Just when Gnabry thought things would go on for the better, he suffered a knee injury that kept him out for a long long time. He missed almost the entirety of last season but he made his long-awaited comeback in February when the Arsenal Under-21s played against Newcastle.
Gnabry is a star in the making and at this stage in his Arsenal career, he can’t continue to feature for the Reserves, so a loan move to West Brom is great for the player. At least, he’d get some first-team experience at the club, and that’s what Arsene Wenger is hoping for as well,
“We know Serge is ready to play in the Premier League, but we know as well that what is needed for him is to get 25 to 30 games to show that he can produce it on a regular basis and cope with it physically.”
I’m happy that Gnabry remains in the Premier League and I wish him all the very best.
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