Serge Gnabry: The six wingers Tony Pulis preferred to him at West Brom

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One man would have been hiding behind the sofa after Serge Gnabry scored twice against Lyon to send Bayern Munich through to the Champions League final.

Of course, we’re talking about Tony Pulis.

Every time the Bayern winger scores, Pulis’ name trends on Twitter.

Why?

Well, we’re sure you already know the answer.

Gnabry spent five months on loan at West Brom from Arsenal but played just one Premier League match - a 12-minute substitute appearance against Chelsea.

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Why?

Well, we’ll let Pulis’ comments from 2015 explain exactly why.

“Serge has come here to play games but he just hasn’t been for me, at the moment, at that level to play the games,” he said at the time.

“He’s come from academy football and not played much league football. Does academy football really prepare players for league football? And we’re talking about Premier League football here.

“As a manager you pick a team that’s going to win a game of football. You pick your best team, you don’t leave people out because you don’t like them, because of this, that and the other.”

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A year after those comments, Gnabry left Arsenal on a permanent basis to sign for Werder Bremen. He impressed massively and Bayern Munich soon snapped him up for just €8 million.

Now, he’s one of the best wingers in world football at the age of 25. He’s scored 23 goals for Bayern this season, including nine in nine in the Champions League.

But why didn’t Pulis want to give Gnabry a chance? Who did he have in his West Brom squad that was far better than the German?

Well, Planet Football have looked at the six wingers at the Hawthorns that kept Gnabry out of the team and asked: ‘Where are they now?’

James Morrison | Retired

Morrison played almost 350 times at West Brom before retiring in October 2019 after only receiving offers from lower league club.

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Chris Brunt | Free agent

Brunt played seven times in the Championship last season to help West Brom return to the Premier League. He was released this summer and is currently a free agent at the age of 35.

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James McClean | Stoke

McClean has spent the last two seasons in the Championship with Stoke and played 36 times in the league last season.

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Callum McManaman | Free agent

McManaman actually came off for Gnabry during his one and only Premier League appearance for West Brom. However, the winger’s career has fallen off a cliff since his £4.75million from Wigan.

He’s played for Sunderland, returned to Wigan before joining Luton on a free. He was released 12 months later and is without a club at the age of 31.

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Alex Pritchard | Huddersfield

Pritchard arrived at West Brom on loan from Tottenham as something of a replacement for Gnabry. He didn’t too much for Pulis, either. A move to Norwich followed but he now finds himself playing a bit-part role for Huddersfield in the Championship.

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Stephane Sessegnon | Free agent

Sessegnon left West Brom in 2016 for Ligue 1 side Montpellier. However, he’s spent the last three seasons in Turkey with Gençlerbirli─či. At the age of 36, he left the club at the end of his contract.

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