This is part 2 of a three part series.
The support for Arsenal wunderkind Serge Gnabry
Considering how many players come through the Arsenal academy, whether that is then into the senior Gunners or securing a transfer to a team ranked lower in the English football league pyramid, it is still high praise when the club's fan-base laud a footballer to be the most talented and capable of the biggest impact since the graduation of Cesc Fabregas.
For knowledgeable Arsenal supporters, Gnabry was earmarked as a terrific prospect in the 2011-12 season where he was often the most influential player at Under-18 and reserve matches despite being underage - at 16 (and, in the case of reserves, often competing against fully-matured men).
Gnabry has good acceleration, peak speed, possesses a range of passes, has accuracy in his pass, is a fine dribbler and, while he has not shown it consistently at senior level - he does score an array of goals.
In fact, while Januzaj does have the edge over Gnabry when it comes to cross attempts, shots, assist for team-mate shots and successful dribbles per match thus far, it is the Gunner who is a clear level above when it comes to the pass - something that perhaps should be no surprise considering the amount of stress on the training ground (regardless of senior, reserve or youth levels) that is placed on Wengerball; not too dissimilar to Barcelona's tiki-taka.
In Premier League competition alone, Januzaj has registered a 79% passing accuracy, which pales in comparison to Gnabry's 86%. The Manchester United man also only averages 23.5 passes per appearance, while the Arsenal stand-out returns 27.2.
When taking into account minutes played, Januzaj completes a pass once every 3.4 minutes while Gnabry finds a team-mate once every 2.1 minutes.
However, while this may look like Gnabry sees more of the football, the main difference - as noted by the statistical data (Opta) - is that Januzaj does more with it when it comes to chance creation, take-ons/dribbling, attracting fouls and affecting the scoreline with either a goal, or an assist.
|Name||Cross||Shots||Assist a shot||Dribbles||Fouled||Apps||Mins|
Manager Arsene Wenger is renowned for his body of work when it comes to coaching promising youth players into accomplished professionals at the elite-level and first identified Gnabry's ceiling-less potential over 18 months ago: 'He is a guy who can play in all the offensive positions… I think he could even play centre forward. He has a kind of efficiency in his game, and can get on the end of things,' he said in 2012, as quoted by the club's official website.
'He has big potential, creative potential, finishing potential. Serge is 17 years old [now 18] and strong for a boy of that age. It is difficult to compare with anyone. He is not small, he is stocky with good body balance. He glides, he is fluent.'
In terms of body structure, Gnabry has the current edge over Januzaj, however, like Adnan, he is completely unperturbed when it comes to first; training with Mesut Ozil, Jack Wilshere and Olivier Giroud and second; playing in the same team as them in a competitive match.
'It was great to have been given a start in such a big game, and I am satisfied with my performance. I tried to have an impact going forwards and am happy that I could help the team to win with the assist for our first goal,' he is quoted by The Independent to have said following his starring role in the North London derby at the start of 2014.
Wenger's confidence in his player is so high that he believes Serge will make Germany's World Cup squad - and they are no mugs in that position considering they can call upon Thomas Muller, Marco Reus, Toni Kroos and current Gunners target Julian Draxler: 'There is more than a small chance, there’s a big chance.'
Current rating: 7/10
Potential rating: 9/10
image: © NextGen