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The Red Hot Gnabry and the Not So Hot Chili Pepe

Image result for serge gnabry

Wingers. One of the most essential positions in modern day football, giving we the fans the viewing pleasure of seeing them make those mazy runs, breathtaking dribbles and of course, well taken goals.

When Arsenal signed Nicolas Pepe for the club record 72 million pounds, many of us didn’t know much about him but the internet offers such a vast array of knowledge that enables us to do our own research to satisfy those curiosities and boy, was I satisfied! 23 goals and 12 assists for those statisticians, then there were the videos of his overall play and insane dribbling skills. I have to admit that I didn’t really get a good glimpse of him for Ivory Coast in the African Cup of Nations, but I was still optimistic that he was going to be an awesome signing for us as he offered something that we lacked from an attacking perspective, and of course, the prospect of seeing him play alongside our deadly duo of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was mouth watering to say the least.

Seven games into the new Premier League campaign, and there are some mixed feelings about Pepe’s performances for the team. It’s not like he has been a terrible signing per se, but like Spiderman’s Uncle Ben famously said, “with great power comes great responsibility”. Putting it in this context, we signed Pepe for 72m and we expect 72m kinda returns from him. Using Arsenal’s alpha dog in attack, Aubameyang, as a case study, we signed him for 54m in January 2018. Since then he has scored 49 goals in 73 games (39 in the Premier League – joint most of any player in the division in that period with Mohamed Salah (39) and Sergio Aguero (33) coming close. Aubameyang has also had 11 assists in addition to his 49 Arsenal goals, which is 60 goal contributions in the 73 games, which totals 5728 minutes and if you convert it further, it’s one goal contribution every 95 minutes. This clearly indicates that you’d expect Aubameyang to score or assist in pretty much every game he plays, a stat that he has amazingly achieved in the Premier League this season.

Image result for aubameyang pepe

In Pepe’s seven Premier League games so far, he has scored only one goal from a spot kick (gifted to him by the lovable Aubameyang) and he has created one assist as well. He has averaged three shots per game, with 1.4 outside the box and 1.3 in the penalty area, 1.6 key passes with a pass completion percentage of 79%, 3.3 successful dribbles (including one on Virgil van Dijk that has turned out to be a big deal in some parts of the world). The player himself is aware of his current situation and voiced his thoughts,

“It has not been easy, I must tell the truth. My stats have not been good enough or my usual performances, it is not the same as Lille or the Liverpool game earlier in the season.

My confidence must come back. I am not very worried. People may be worried about my statistics but I am not. I have to keep working as the level here is different, so is the language. It is a new league for me and I must adapt quickly. But it won’t take very long.”

I’d say it’s not time to bring out the torches and pitchforks because the potential is out there for everyone to see. Pepe has been offered us that fear factor in attack and he does his bit to be creative for others. Yes, he had a stinker at Old Trafford only to be replaced by Reiss Nelson that wasn’t any better to be honest but I’m confident that he would be a massive success at Arsenal.

At least, he will be given a chance to show his worth at Arsenal, unlike a certain Serge Gnabry that is lighting fireworks in Bayern Munich. I remember when he earned his Arsenal breakthrough in the 2013/14 season in that win against Swansea at the Liberty Stadium. It seemed like the star was going to be his limit but that gruesome knee injury happened and a certain Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was in very good form. Following his rehabilitation and return from injury, he found things difficult in North London and things went from bad to worse when he was loaned to West Brom and Tony Pulis declared that he wasn’t good enough to play Premier League football.

So the club opted not to renew his deal and shipped him off to Werder Bremen for a measly 5m quid, but the lad found a new lease of life after shining at the Olympics and ended up with 11 goals in 27 apps for the Bremen based outfit. Bayern Munich came calling and as you’d expect from any young German, the answer was certainly yes, but they shipped up off to Hoffenheim after snapping him up from Bremen and he acquainted himself well, scoring 10 goals in 26 games for the club. With legends like Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery gone, as well as the failed pursuit of Leroy Sane, Gnabry was given a chance to stake a claim for the Bayern jersey and he has been impressive for the German giants, scoring 13 goals in his debut campaign for them. When you consider that he’s a young winger with potential, these are good numbers.

Fast forward to last night, Gnabry was on fire in North London, helping his team utterly destroy Tottenham in a 7-2 bashing, where he smashed in four amazing goals. It was highlight reel stuff, leaving defenders to eat his dust while he made mince meat of Hugo Lloris in goal. A good night for the humiliation of Spurs became even better when he went to his social media and stated that North London is Red. You can’t help but love it when ex-Gunners do such stuff.

Well, all focus would move to playing Standard Liege on Thursday and I’d drop my thoughts on that as we draw closer.

Sayonara.

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Thoughts on Gnabry’s Move to Bremen: A Fan’s Perspective

Image result for gnabry olympics

Serge Gnabry joined Arsenal as a 15-year-old in 2010, but had to wait for almost three years before he made his mark in the team. With the team suffering one of their trademark injury crises, Gnabry was plunged into the depth and he handled himself pretty well, scoring one goal in the 2-1 win against Swansea and winning that penalty against Crystal Palace. His performances that season earned him a nomination for the UEFA Golden Boy award that was eventually won by Juventus’ Paul Pogba. In the club’s bid for the youngster to get competitive football, he was loaned to West Brom and that turned sour.

After a successful Olympic Games campaign that saw him score six goals for the Germans, Gnabry has been on the back pages recently, with ESPN reporting that a transfer to Werder Bremen is in the works. With Gnabry’s contract expiring this summer, Arsenal is at the same point they were with Robin van Persie where they are left with just three options – give the lad a new long term contract, let the lad run out his contract and leave on a Bosman, or everyone’s least favorite – sell him off and make some money of him.

Werder Bremen has been quite confident on Twitter, expressing their optimism in signing the player.

To this end, I have gathered some thoughts from some Arsenal fans, and it’s worth sharing in today’s post

 

Chuks Tristan – @Chuks_Tristan

Even if he wants to leave next summer, he should sign a new contract in appreciation of what Arsenal has done for him. That way we can get a decent transfer fee for him.

King Martyn – @mayorbaze

Gnabry has not done enough in England to hold Arsenal by the balls. I don’t like players with that kind of attitude. This is someone that couldn’t even get into West Brom’s team.

Eric – @daviruz

If Gnabry is holding Arsenal to ransom, it makes me wonder if Arsene Wenger should continue keeping the faith in some of his players. Because he shined at the Olympic Games, does it give him any right to put us in this situation?

Dondeon – @DondeonBeke

Gnabry is a talented kid, no doubt. He has had his injuries and the club has stood solidly behind him for years. The only reason he was allowed to go to the Olympic Games when the likes of Alex Iwobi wasn’t allowed was because he needed games. If because of that Olympics, he thinks he is more than a squad player, he can move on. No hard feelings, but I don’t like these kids acting this way after all the faith Arsene Wenger has had in them.

Anayo – @K_Sturna

The only issue I have with Gnabry leaving the club is that we would get peanuts from the transfer.

Bhydemi Brainz – @bhydemi

I would like Gnabry to stay, now that we sent Joel Campbell on loan to Sporting CP. I believe he can get into the team this season, especially on the left wing. If he decides to go to the Bundesliga, I don’t see him getting any better than he is already.

Bola – @Bolagunner

Loan? Yes. Selling him would be quite ridiculous because in three to four years time, Arsenal would have their ‘Gnaback’ like Manchester United did with ‘Pogback’ to sign Gnabry for $100m.

Wilson – @wheelsindk

Gnabry should not be sold. If Arsenal wants to sell him, he must have a reasonable buy back clause. I’d rather we loaned him instead

Amos – @amoscp

With a year left on his contract and at 23, Arsenal has to be decisive with Gnabry. If he thinks his performances in the Olympic Games are enough to push a move, then Wenger has to decide. Give him a new contract and send him out on loan, or just sell him to the highest bidder. Right now, I’m not bothered about Gnabry. Does Lord Nicklas Bendtner have a club?

 

There you have it. Lot’s of mixed opinions about the lad’s potential exit.

Sayonara.

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Serge Gnabry Recalled and Matt Debuchy Off to West Brom?

Gnabry endured a torrid time at the Hawthorns

In case you all have forgotten due to too much football going on, we are at the winter transfer window and clubs can conduct good transfer business again. Bournemouth was the first team to act, securing the services of the skillful attacking midfielder, Juan Iturbe, from Roma, Everton has been the second team to do any business of any sort, signing young prospect, Matty Foulds, from Birmingham City after they activated his release clause.  Leicester also swooped for Birmingham’s Demarai Gray for an undisclosed fee. The Daily Mail has dedicated a page to transfer dealings in the Premier League and feel free to visit the site for updates on other teams.

After enduring a torrid first half of the season at West Brom that saw him make on 12 minutes of Premier League football, Arsenal has decided to recall German starlet, Serge Gnabry, from his loan spell at West Brom. Gnabry was a regular for the Under-21s and he had a spell in the 2013/14 season where he got an extended run-out of games following a similar type of injury crisis that made Joel Campbell get a shot this season.

He has been tipped for great things and even featured for Germany in the recently concluded U-21 European Championships so when West Brom came calling, it seemed like a decent move for the player and the club. For Gnabry, he was going to join a Premier League club that would see him get enough experience and minutes under his belt and for Arsenal, it was nice sending their youngster out on loan to a club that was in the same league so his progress could be monitored. Unfortunately, Gnabry didn’t get as much minutes as he’d have liked as he didn’t fit into Tony Pulis dogged style.

According to the Daily Mail, Brighton Hove and Albion is among the clubs that seek to secure a loan spell for Gnabry, now that he’s available once more. The club is fourth in the SkyBet Championship and would be hoping to gain promotion to the Premier League this season, so getting a player like Gnabry on loan would be a good fit because he has some Premier League experience and he’s a very exciting player to watch with the ball at his feet.

Elsewhere, the Whining One, Mathieu Debuchy is under the radar of West Brom, in the wake of his recent outbursts about lack of playing time. The French fullback has made just two Premier League starts this season with most of his appearances coming from the lower Cup competitions and he hasn’t really lit any fireworks. There was a spell when Hector Bellerin was nursing an injury and was replaced by the Frenchman and he didn’t do badly, but it’s evident that Wenger has placed his faith on the Spaniard and poor ol’ Debuchy can’t handle the competition. Apparently, he can’t take the heat so his first option is to leave the kitchen entirely.

The Frenchman also harbors ambitions of playing for his nation that is hosting the European Championships this summer and in recent internationals he has gone behind Bacary Sagna in the pecking order, as the ex-Gunner has featured consistently for Manchester City following Pablo Zabaleta’s injury woes.

Debuchy’s exit wouldn’t really hurt Arsenal per se because the Gunners have Callum Chambers that can deputize at right back, even though he’s currently back up at center back and holding midfield.

I will keep you updated as the stories develop.

Sayonara.

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