Arsene Wenger has confirmed he intends to recall Serge Gnabry from his loan spell at West Brom after the Arsenal midfielder fell out of Tony Pulis' plans.
Gnabry, 20, has played very little competitive football over the last 18 months after spending the entirety of last season on the sidelines with a serious knee injury.
Wenger had hoped to get the young winger back on track by sending him on loan to the Baggies, but, strangely, he has hardly featured at all this season. He has played just 13 minutes of Premier League football and hasn't even made the substitute's bench since December 13.
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Needless to say, West Brom will be happy to send Gnabry back to north London, alleviating their commitment to pay his wages, but, of course, competition is even more intense in Wenger's squad.
Joel Campbell, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are all vying for playing time in Arsenal's right-wing while Alexis Sanchez has dominated the left-wing role. As a result, Wenger intends to send Gnabry out on another loan spell where he can finally get some first-team football under his belt.
Follow Coquelin's example
After that, there is every chance he could earn himself the right to play for the Gunners in the current campaign, just as Francis Coquelin did last season. The Frenchman performed well whilst at Charlton and returned to become a key player in the squad.
Wenger told reporters: "I am tempted to give him some competition because, at the moment, he has not played at West Brom, so I am tempted to let him go somewhere - to do with him what I did with Coquelin. To go somewhere for a month or two and then come back."
Dropping down a level
What is most likely is Gnabry will drop down to the Championship in the hunt for a key place in a squad. Brighton are one club credited with an interest but there is likely to be plenty of clubs chasing the Germany Under-21 international.
Gnabry was threatening to break into Arsenal's first-team in the 2013/14 season after establishing himself as a top talent amidst an injury crisis. A spell of five games saw him collect one goal and two assists and, despite his recent demise, he remains a highly-rated figure at Arsenal.
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