With Arsene Wenger stumped over Theo Walcott’s latest injury, Serge Gnabry could find himself with a run of games he wouldn’t have been expecting.
The German teenager finds himself in the deep end with no sign that his feet are going to find the bottom.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott are all carrying knocks with Arsene Wenger admitting he has no idea how long Walcott is going to be out of action for.
“We hope we haven't lost Walcott for a long time. He has a muscular abdominal problem but I don't know how serious it is - It is a bit mysterious because we don't really know what it is,” said the Arsenal manager.
That means that unless Wenger wants to play a more experienced midfielder out of position, the 18-year-old finds himself in the position of being the main fit winger at the club.
That opens up the questions of whether he can handle the pressure and whether the Gunners can trust him.
The good news is there is every indication from his performance against Stoke at the weekend that they can and he should thrive with the first team experience he’ll get up until Walcott returns to full fitness.
Gnabry’s passing success rate against Stoke was just under 87% which shows he makes the right decisions under pressure.
Bear in mind Stoke aren’t exactly a subtle team. They tried to bully him off the ball physically on frequent occasions but he only got dispossessed on one occasion during the match.
It was also encouraging that he took responsibility against Stoke, having two shots and going on two dribbles when other youngsters may have become easily intimidated, looking for an easy pass and way out.
It’s not all about his attacking play because when he doubled back to offer support to Bacary Sagna, he did a very good job. He intercepted the ball three times against Stoke as they attacked, which is one of many signs that he reads the game superbly.
Arsenal know they can trust him because they can trust their other midfielders. The likes of Mesut Ozil, Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta and others will know precisely when to offer him support in the form of an outlet and when to let him run off the leash.
Gnabry is one of the most exciting wingers in the Premier League. His pace, his agility and his drive should carry him through this short spell that he wouldn’t have been expecting.
What do you think? Should Gnabry remain as a starter in the side?
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