Not many Arsenal fans will be expecting to see much action from these two young Arsenal players in the year ahead, with our summer signing Takuma Asano still not having been granted a work permit to play football in England and Serge Gnabry being one of the forgotten stars from the academy and seemingly nearing the end of his time with the club.
Both of them did their chances of breaking into the Arsenal first team no harm whatsoever this week though, as they began their Olympics campaign in Brazil with a well taken goal apiece. Unfortunately for the Arsenal pair, neither goal was enough to inspire their national teams to a win but on a personal note and from an Arsenal point of view it was definitely a positive day in Rio.
Gnabry’s Arsenal career has faltered after a strong and promising start, partly due to some bad luck on the injury front and partly because he lost his way and lost his form. There was some good luck for him today though, as an injury to the captain of Germany saw Gnabry brought on. He then scored a good goal and inspired the German to fight back twice and claim a draw with the reigning gold medallists Mexico.
Asano’s Japan were trailing 5-2 against Nigeria when Asano finished a fine flowing move with a great backheel to set up a frantic finish. Unfortunately for the new Gunner they fell just short and lost the match 5-4 but if he continues to impress at the Olympics it will certainly help his chances of getting that work permit.