Serge Gnabry’s fine performances at the Olympics continued last night as he scored twice – including an injury time equaliser – for Germany in their 3-3 draw with South Korea.
The Arsenal winger was on the scoresheet in the Germans’ first game too, but his goals last night kept alive his team’s hopes of qualification for the knockout stages.
Gnabry has endured a difficult period in his carer. After making a real breakthrough in 2013-14, he suffered a serious knee injury which left him sidelined for almost a year. He then had a fruitless loan spell at West Brom where he hardly played at all.
The Olympics have given us a fresh glimpse of his talent though, and German manager Horst Hrubesch was quick to praise him while also throwing in a little dig at Arsene Wenger.
“He did really well twice, but that doesn’t come as a surprise to me,” he said. “Over the last two years he wasn’t always fully fit. What annoys me is that people at his club have never given him enough trust during that time.
“And you can see now what an important player he can be and at what level he can play at. He showed that to everyone and hopefully he will now get the opportunities at his club to play in that position.”
To be fair to the Arsenal manager, Gnabry simply hasn’t been fit but Wenger is a strong admirer of the 21 year old and these performances in Rio will do his chances no harm at all.
The player himself admitted he’s hard a hard time, saying, “I’ve had a couple of very difficult seasons and was injured for a long time. Now I feel nearly fully fit again, had a good pre-season at Arsenal and played two good games here in Rio.
“I hope that things carry on like this for me. I try to help the team, that’s why I’m here.”
It remains to be seen what Arsenal do about his contract, which runs until June 2017. He’s now inside the last 12 months, so a decision has to be made one way or the other soon.
If he continues to stand-out in Brazil, and returns to Arsenal in genuinely competitive form, he’s definitely a player we should be looking to keep.
Thanks to @wolfl for the translation