Wenger knew Champions League hero would become a star and regrets losing him

Serge Gnabry has become a global superstar in the last few seasons and his star began to shine when he moved to Bayern Munich.

The German had been on the books of Arsenal after Arsene Wenger discovered him at the age of 15.

He broke into the Arsenal first team but struggled to stay there, so the Gunners loaned him out to most-notably West Brom where he couldn’t get game time.

He returned to Arsenal and after doing very well for his country in European youth competition, he decided to move back to Germany with Werder Bremen.

He had refused a new Arsenal deal to seal that move and he joined German champions, Bayern Munich, a season later, the rest, as they say, is history.

He has been a star of the current Bayern Munich side that has reached another final of the Champions League the same season that they won the Bundesliga and German Cup.

He starred for them in Champions League games against Tottenham and Chelsea and scored twice as they beat Lyon to reach the final of this year’s edition.

Watching him shine for another club has been painful to Arsene Wenger as he recently disclosed that he knew the German will become a star.

Speaking on beIN Sports, the Frenchman said: “Let’s not forget Gnabry, I bought him at the age of 15 from Stuttgart and he was injured a lot.

“We had an agreement with him you know. I had given him out on loan to West Brom and he didn’t play a game. He came back, he was injured.

“We worked very hard with him for six months and he went out with the German national team, Under-21s, and Bayern made a deal with Werder Bremen.

“He wanted to sign in the end, didn’t want to extend his contract (with Arsenal) and I was very sad.

“But we couldn’t get over the line with him because I knew he would have a great career.”

Tags Arsenal Wenger


  1. In reality, no one really knows for certain how any player would turn out at the end of the day. I do not blame Arsene for selling him at the time as he made no significant impact for arsenal which was probably because he was injured alot like wenger said. I mean, martinelli could come back from injury a terrible player or more terrific than he was before injury. There’s no certainty. Bellerin was once a contender for one of the best RBs in the world before his major injury. The fans would have revolted if we sold him then and rightly so but who knew he was going to be a shadow of his former self. Ergo I’m happy gnabry has found a consistent form with bayern and stayed injury free which he wasnt able to do for us. I only find it difficult understanding why we sell young players for peanuts and without buy back clauses. That should definitely be looked at going forward

  2. Felt he never got a chance at Arsenal to play and show what he could do. Wasn’t that around the time where Ramsey was getting shoe-horned into the RW position?
    Shame the lad never got a chance at our club, and there are a few others that I personally regret losing out on by selling them cheap or no buy back clause in the transfers.
    Hopefully that’s a lesson learned and we can avoid repeating mistakes with some (at least) of our academy players. We couldn’t make Gnabry sign an extension, but maybe he would have considered it if he had gotten more chances or sub appearances even.

    1. He never was trusted at Arsenal, players were played ahead of him ox, Ramsey etc who weren’t wide players. He was sent on an awful loan to west brom under pulis who didnt rate him. He planned his departure because he thought he had no future at Arsenal. Definitely slipped the net and eventually didn’t think he had a future at Arsenal. Good luck to the lad, i don’t blame him for leaving.

      1. The Ox was not exactly pulling up trees, was he?
        And the ultimate affront was to send him to the troglodyte Pulis. What was Wenger thinking? Mismanagement if you ask me. To this list we may now add Bennacer, Malen, Reine-Adelaide, Szczesny … And if we are not careful, we will add AMN and Martinez soon.

    2. Yeah Wenger was obsessed with Ramsey as a winger for some reason, and was still hoping Walcott would develop into something at that time. I remember Gnabry away at Swansea, and at 17/18, he already looked better than the two I have already mentioned.

      Although know one quite knows how a player will develop, one could not only tell that Gnabry had a lot of potential, but in the context of the lack of quality in our RW position, he was already good enough to be starting, or at least second choice.

      We also now know that Arsenal letting a quality player go, and on the cheap, wouldn’t be a one off.

  3. “He wanted to sign in the end, didn’t want to extend his contract (with Arsenal) and I was very sad.”

    “But we couldn’t get over the line with him because I knew he would have a great career.”

    Is it Arsenes language, my bad English or am I just stupid. This makes no sense to me.. We could not get over the line with him because I knew he would have a great career?

    1. Not at all Subi… he wanted to get him over the line, but couldn’t, because he knew he would have a great career.

      Your not stupid, it’s not bad english, just needed a little punctuation and those two words “but couldn’t.”

      I think Kstix sums the Gnabry situation up perfectly and I cannot believe any single person would have known how great a player he would turn out to be…not even AW.
      It is also hinted that BM did a little bit of behind the scenes work on the lad, that wasn’t exactly above board, but who knows?

      Interestingly, he has nothing but praise for AW and the club as far as I can see, but just decided to move on…end of story.

    2. “Bayern made a deal with Werder Bremen. He wanted to sign in the end, didn’t want to extend his contract (with Arsenal) and I was very sad.”

      You’re not wrong and it’s not Wenger’s English either.
      He said after the U21 tournaments Bayern made a deal with Bremen, and Gnabry wanted to sign for in the end (For Bremen/Bayern), he wasn’t interested in extending his contract at Arsenal.
      Wenger had no choice than to let him go here

      1. Absolutely Eddie, just needs a little delving into the situation.

        I was looking at a thread regarding Gnabry and it went on to name young players from other clubs who have let future stars go for one reason or another…chelsea, manure, city etc etc

        It’s quite amazing how some believe it’s just our club, but then it always seems The Arsenal can do nothing right according to some of our fans.

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