When a former player who was sold for peanuts turns out to be a world-class talent, it is hard to forgive the people who signed off on their exit. For Arsenal fans, the one who really got away was Serge Gnabry. Though he looked pretty average when in England, the hype was real from a young age. As soon as he set foot back in the Bundesliga, though, Gnabry looked a pure talent. His time at Werder Bremen convinced FC Bayern to swoop, and a loan spell at Hoffenheim was fruitful to say the least.
Now, though, the player is out of contract in 2023 and talks are at an impasse. Like many of the long-term Bayern first-team, the summer of 2022 could represent the ideal time for a new challenge. Given Gnabry regularly posts photos of himself in vintage Arsenal attire, it is clear he still holds the club in high regard.
Doing a deal for him will be tough, though, with the player likely to prefer a UEFA Champions League project. However, if Arsenal can play on his connections to the club and a desire to return to England, they could land the player.
And reports in Germany suggest the fee might be nowhere near as large as most would assume. Bayern are believed to not be convinced that handing a bumper deal to Gnabry would be worthwhile. Given Arsenal have handed out several massive contracts in recent years, though, they might be keen to give Gnabry the validation he wants financially.
The chance to return to London and be very well-paid for it could appeal to a player who looks like he is ready to leave Bavaria.
Arsenal ‘the favourite’ for Premier League return
In previous interviews, Gnabry has described Arsenal as ‘top, top’ as a club. He was also previously quoted as saying that if he did ever come back to England he would see Arsenal as “the favourite”. Whatever happens next, it sounds like Arsenal have a better chance of landing a top-class operator than most would expect.
In this case, it is the previous connection to the club that gives them as good a chance as anyone. Being able to pick up a top class performer who has a long history of success at the highest level would be exciting in the extreme. And with Bayern said to be less keen to hand Gnabry a new deal than most would expect, a fee of around €50m could get the doors open for a sensational return home.
It might not be what people expected, but it would mark the best signing that the club could realistically make this summer. For that reason, expect the Gunners to really look to push on and make the deal stick as soon as they can – if it is even slightly possible, that is.
While roadblocks will no doubt appear and it will take some time to convince the plater, a deal for Gnabry is more likely than some would expect.