The name Serge Gnabry is one that likely remains familiar to Arsenal fans even though he last played for their first team roughly three years ago.
The 21-year-old was long considered to be one of the brightest prospects in the Gunners’ junior squads despite managing only ten Premier League before joining West Brom on loan for the 2015-16 campaign.
That would prove to be Gnabry’s final season based in England as Arsenal opted to sell him to Werder Bremen for around £5 million on transfer deadline day last summer.
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The move proved to be a wise one for the young winger and he ended his debut campaign with 11 goals from 27 Bundesliga appearances.
His valuable contribution helped his new team finish in eighth – up from 13th the season prior – and narrowly miss out on a Europa League qualifying place.
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Bremen fans deserve to feel optimistic about their chances of earning a return to continental competition in the near future, but their hopes have recently taken a hit in a fashion familiar to other German clubs.
Less than 12 months after his arrival, Gnabry has chosen to activate an exit clause in his contract and join Bayern Munich, prompting a scathing reaction from club chairman Klaus Filbry.
"I would have hoped for some more perseverance from Serge," Filbry told Werderstube, as per ESPN.
"Maybe he opted for the easiest way. I think it's a pity, but I wish him all the best.
"I was hoping that he could imagine a longer stay at Bremen -- and the talks we had also suggested that was an option.”
Gnabry – who suffered an injury that saw him start just once in the final two months of the season – may have become frustrated after struggling to regain his place in the side, according to Filbry.
But irrespective of the true motive behind his departure, the chairman is disappointed he has chosen to leave the club at a financial disadvantage.
"He did not really get going again after his injury. Maybe that made him change his mind.
"The decision made by the coach [to drop Gnabry] were absolutely understandable. We were successful and won.
"We got him a year ago for a certain sum; now we're selling him again for a certain sum," he added.
"With the salary he's got in the meantime, it's almost a zero-sum game for us, thus opening up no new scope for action.”
THIRD GERMAN INTERNATIONAL
Gnabry is the third German international to sign for Bayern this summer following Niklas Sule and Sebastian Rudy.
As if it was ever in doubt, it will require a monumental effort to prevent the Bavarians from claiming a sixth consecutive Bundesliga title next season.
Does Gnabry deserve criticism for joining Bayern Munich 12 months after signing for Werder Bremen? Give YOUR opinion in the comment box below!
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