For a club with great history, there have often been times when Arsenal has had to let go of some of their players. Sometimes the moves are forced other times extenuating circumstances such as the preference for more playing time, an offer from a club in your native city etc. are some of the other reasons why players move so abruptly.
At other times, it is just the club’s desire to move on the player or if they believe the player has reached the end of their development pattern at the club. Given the explosion of money into English football, clubs have started keeping bigger squads and at times it is difficult to provide everyone with playing time.
Arsenal like their other fellow clubs has also been culpable at times. Arsene Wenger once said, “We do not buy superstars. We make them.”. Over the years, there have been times when players have gone on to become better players after they left the club.
In this post, the author will look at some of the Arsenal discards who have been fulfilling their potential away from the glaring lights at the Emirates.
#1 Serge Gnabry – Werder Bremen – Moved from Arsenal in 2016
It is hard to say whether it was a matter of rejection or the self-belief of the player to make it big somewhere else.
Serge Gnabry surely has benefitted from his time away from the London club, making an immediate impact with his new club, Werder Bremen.
The youngster made the bold choice to reject a new deal with the Gunners before joining Bremen in search of more regular first-team football this summer.
At the time of signing the youngster in 2012, Arsene Wenger had stated, “Serge Gnabry is a great hope for the future. I rate him highly. If he continues his development, I think he could play in the first team this season. At the moment, he needs to work and ensure he remains fit.”
However, injuries over the past two years prevented the progress that the club had anticipated and in the August of 2016. Gnabry moved back to Germany.
Halfway through the season, the German winger is enjoying the faith of his new bosses as illustrated by the number of appearances in the Bundesliga.
The German international has already scored 7 goals in 15 appearances.
The youngster has become a first team favourite and has already been involved in 35% of the goals scored in the league by his new club.
His stupendous early season form also earned him an international call-up against San Marino in a World Cup 2018 qualifier.
And the 21-year-old ensured his name is revered in the history books after he scored a hat-trick on his international debut.
Given the abundance of wingers, Wenger may have been right to let the youngster leave, however, given that Arsenal received only a paltry sum of £5 million, it is sure to raise questions among the Gunner’s hierarchy on whether a larger fee could have been demanded.