The Young Guns Column: Why Arsenal Should Loan Out Serge Gnabry


As we approach the new Premier League campaign we’re treated by transfer stories that involve many top names around Europe. As usual for Arsenal fans, we’re not exactly sure who we’ll end up with but by the recent transfer stories emerging on a daily basis, I have a gut feeling one of the players we welcome to the Emirates will be a winger.

The new player will join Lukas Podolski, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the battle for the wide positions, while the likes of Santi Cazorla, Tomas Rosicky and others could still be drafted out wide. All this adds up to one thing- extremely limited chances for the young talents of Serge Gnabry.

German youngster Gnabry featured on a fair few occasions last year with appearances ranging from the League Cup to the Champions League. All in all, he accumulated 484 minutes of Premier League football  and 1,183 minutes in all competitions- which includes the U-21 Premier League.

This season is massive for the 18-year-old, who’ll turn 19 in a few weeks, and in order to continue his development the best practice is for him to go on-loan this season. He has proved he has a future at Arsenal with decent performances at such a young age but with new players arriving and many more returning from injury, his opportunities in North London will be extremely limited this season.

For that reason, Gnabry should be loaned out for the full campaign this season, with the preferred destination being a Premier League club. In the past players like Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey have all benefited from loan spells elsewhere, while Joel Campbell has shone in his adventures across Europe in recent seasons.

At another Premier League club, Gnabry can earn consistent first team football at a high level which will put his abilities under a true test. Fortunately due to his young age if things don’t work out it will not mean the end of the road for the young German- but I’m confident he can enjoy success on his travels.

Fast forward a year and everything is very different. Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski could well be nearing an exit, while Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could move to their respective preferred positions. This frees up area on the wings that Gnabry can accommodate and with a year of top-flight experience under his belt, Arsene is more likely to trust him with the challenge.

At this stage, even if players exit and alter positions, Gnabry is not quite ready for regular competitive football at Arsenal’s level just yet. It would be a huge ask to put the pressures our team onto a young star on a weekly basis, with both Premier League and European competition to think about. If we do that it could really hamper his development.

Gnabry is still very, very young and has a bright future ahead of him, which will hopefully be in the red half of North London. We don’t need him at the club this season and it’s not beneficial for the player to stay put at the Emirates either- the ideal situation for all parties is a loan spell elsewhere.

There’s many potential suitors in the league that could be appropriate, ranging from the newly promoted clubs to the teams hoping for a top half finish. Gnabry would be an ideal addition to any of those sides and should he be made available for a loan-spell, plenty of clubs will come sniffing- which would give Arsene Wenger the opportunity to decide the perfect destination for this precious player.

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