Although his name may not be as familiar to many as Benik Afobe or Joel Campbell, Serge Gnabry remains a prime attacking prospect for Arsenal despite his tender age.
He impressed Arsenal scouts at VfB Stuttgart’s youth academy, earning plaudits for his performances at the 2010 Nike Cup, which persuaded the Gunners to offer him a trial and a subsequent transfer.
Though still only 16 (turning 17 on July 14th), and thus one of the younger members of the Under-18 side, Gnabry made a splash at both that level and the Reserve team, to which he made the step up after a successful spell in the youth side.
An attacking midfielder who is powerfully built, yet has pace to burn, he will likely remind many fans of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain at his best; they share the same excellent physical attributes, a rovingly offensive mentality that covers all sides of the pitch, and a powerful shot.
Gnabry’s rise so far has been noticeably fast, and this is all undoubtedly due to his raw talent, which he used to score eight goals in his 14 total appearances this season. T
hough his age gives his obvious potential a notable rawness, there are whispers that he could see the same fast-track introduction to the first team that Jack Wilshere experienced so successfully.
Of course, the fans must be patient, as they should with all young talents, but Gnabry is not a player to quietly excel under the radar – if we do see him next season, he is guaranteed to catch the eye.
There are, however, only so many words to describe a player. For a real taste of Gnabry’s play, watch the unwaveringly excellent video compilation of his season below.
The rough edges may be visible, but so too are the reasons why he has lit up the reserves and youth level.
Keep an eye out for Serge Gnabry, Gooners, and remember the name.