Football News

Serge Gnabry explains why he left Arsenal: “I wanted to enjoy playing football again”

By Ben Green

Published: 17:44, 15 August 2019

Bayern Munich winger Serge Gnabry says a desire to play first-team football motivated his decision to leave Arsenal.

Earmarked as a future star during his formative years in north London, Gnabry left the Gunners for Werder Bremen in 2016.

Why did Gnabry leave Arsenal? Five things to know…

  • Gnabry joined Arsenal as a 16-year-old from VfB Stuttgart in 2011.
  • He made a number of first-team appearances over the next few seasons, impressing during those showings.
  • As such, he was expected to make the step up and hold down a regular starting berth in the coming seasons.
  • However, a serious knee injury and a failed temporary stint at West Brom hindered his progress.
  • Arsenal wanted to keep hold of Gnabry but he opted to leave in 2016 for pastures new.

A combination of the serious knee injury which kept him out for nearly a year and an unsuccessful loan spell with West Bromwich Albion culminated in then-manager Arsene Wenger offering no assurances of senior action.

As such, the Germany international sought “to take a step back” and find regular first-team football elsewhere, though he has since spoken of how his experience at the Emirates helped mould him into the player he is today.

“Joining Arsenal may have been an extraordinary step for some, but not for me,” he told DAZN.

“If a club like Arsenal makes you an offer and says it wants you in the club – with a coach like Arsene Wenger, who was known to give young players a chance – that’s a great opportunity.

“I really wanted to take this opportunity. My time in England has shaped me, with all its ups and downs. I would do the same again.

“The move away from Arsenal was because I did not want to line up again and only play in the cup a few times. So I said, ‘Okay, I have to take a step back’.

“In Bremen I got a lot of playing time. That’s why I enjoyed playing football again.”

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Gnabry sets sights on European glory

Having clinched every major domestic trophy with Bayern, the 24-year-old is now seeking to transmit that form over to the European stage, outlining his aspirations to win the Champions League this season.

He added: “Now that I have won the championship and the cup with Bayern, I also want to win the Champions League.

“This is a dream that I and everyone in the team has.

“I’m satisfied with my playing time, that’s the most important thing. Over time, I want to slip into a role where, at 24, I can help the boys who come up – the way I was helped.”