Former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger believes that Bayern Munich star Serge Gnabry was manipulated into leaving the North London side in 2016. The German international joined Werder Bremen before moving to Bayern Munich a year later and has since become a rising star for both club and country.
The 24-year-old broke into Arsenal’s first-team under Arsene Wenger nearly seven years ago but despite that early start, Serge Gnabry would go on to make only ten Premier League appearances. A serious injury to his knee halted his progress at the club and once he returned to full fitness, the German had fallen down the pecking order behind Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck. That saw Gnabry leave on loan to West Brom, a loan spell that has now become famous for all the wrong reasons, before leaving Arsenal for the Bundesliga.
He signed for Werder Bremen in 2016 before joining Bayern Munich a year later and has become a rising star for both the Bavarian giants and Germany. However, Arsenal legend Arsene Wenger has now insisted that he wanted the German to stay at the club but went on to say that he believes Gnabry was tempted to leave England by Bayern. The Frenchman further added that the North London giants tried to extend the 24-year-old’s contract but he refused the offer before eventually leaving.
"We tried to extend his contract for a very long time and I think that Bayern manipulated behind the scenes, that if he went to Bremen he would join Bayern after. He was always a very talented boy who lacked confidence in some stages, but we always thought we had a player who could achieve a lot. He came back from a very bad experience [on loan] at West Brom where his confidence was destroyed. I tried to rebuild him because I believed in him," Wenger told beIN SPORTS.
The German international has flourished since his move to Bayern Munich and finished last season as the club’s player of the year. Despite the addition of new players and competition for places, Gnabry has continued the same way he finished the season, scoring five goals in nine games for Bayern and that includes four against Tottenham in a 7-2 win over Arsenal’s rivals. Yet Wenger went on to add that he was shocked to see the German giants dominate the North Londoners like that.
"They'd just won 3-0 at Paderborn, you wouldn't expect them to come and put seven goals away at Tottenham. I think it was one of those nights where everything goes for you and everything against Tottenham,” concluded the Frenchman.