Serge Gnabry has played a big part in pre-season, featuring regularly on the tour of Asia and starting yesterday in the Emirates Cup against Napoli.
The young German is very highly regarded by Arsene Wenger and the coaching staff, and says his increased involvement has made him feel comfortable in and around the more senior players.
“I’ve been with the first team from the start this summer,” he told the official site. “Last year I had my injury and my operation so I’m feeling really good and great when I play in the team.
“Going on tour gave me a lot of confidence. Hopefully it can continue the way it has been going for me. We’re feeling good and we’re a good team this season. I feel part of it.”
The powerful winger came close to scoring yesterday, seeing his lob float just over Pepe Reina’s bar, and Arsene Wenger is a keen admirer of the former Stuttgart youth.
“What I see is the potential,” he said. “I don’t have many opportunities to make these players realise what is needed at the top level. I can only use the pre-season games in that and that is where they can see ‘oh, what a shock that is, the level I have to get to’ and to get used to that pace.
“That’s why I try to use these kind of games. You want of course to prepare well, not lose the games, and of course give experience to young players. Sometimes that is very difficult.”
With Gervinho on the way out of the club, it remains to be seen if Wenger will use Gnabry on a more regular basis or send him out on loan to get more experience, but having thrown him in at the deep end last season, Arseblog News suspects he’s going to be part of the squad for the upcoming campaign.