The young German Serge Gnabry burst into the Arsenal first team last year after being very impressive in pre-season and at the Emirates Cup, so much so that Arsene Wenger promoted him to the First Team squad.
Gnabry went on to make 8 senior appearances for the Gunners, including scoring his first goal against Swansea, but then he fell foul of Arsenal’s injury curse and has been out with a knee injury most of this year. He admitted on Arsenal.com that he has remained focused on getting ready for the squad despite his frustration at not playing. “It’s very tough.” he said.
“It’s the worst thing that can happen to you as a footballer. You have to learn from it in terms of discipline – you have to be resting as much as you can and not doing bad stuff that will effect your health. It’s good for your mind as it makes you keep going and stay focused.
“I’ve been out for a long time now, which isn’t easy to see players out there enjoying football and you aren’t running. You have to take it as a learning curve and try and get into the best shape after you come back. I’ve learned a lot about my body, what exercises are good for me, what exercises are bad for me.
“When you watch games you see more than you do when you’re on the pitch so I’ve learned a lot from that. I try to stay positive most of the time – it’s part of our job. It’s not the best part but it’s there.”
“I don’t think you can be a player without getting injured at least once in your career so I try stay focus and motivate myself from day to day. I tell myself, ‘if you keep going then you’ll get the result out of it’, so that’s what keeps me motivated.
But now the 19 year-old is getting fit and ready again to fight for his first team place and show that his early promise was no fluke. “I’m very happy.” he continued. “I came here with a target of being a first-team player and I’ve achieved that so far. Now I’ve had a good season but I’ve been injured since the end of it.
“From now on I’m looking forward to giving my best this season and trying to get a few games under my belt to establish myself. I’m just coming back from my knee problem so I hope I’m in better shape than I was before. In training I try to improve, give my best and show that I’m ready to be involved again.”
He has certainly been unlucky in coming back at the same time as Theo Walcott, and with Alexis, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Podolski and Joel Campbell all ahead of him for his favourite position he will not get many chances to impress this ear, but I sincerely hope that Wenger gives him a few games to help him get match fit quickly. He can hardly perform any worse than our current selections!