Arsenal's Serge Gnabry hails fellow first-team youngsters

Serge Gnabry is eager to link up with Chuba Akpom and Hector Bellerin in the senior squad after recovering from a long-term knee injury.

Arsenal midfielder Serge Gnabry has told the club’s official website that he is desperate to join fellow academy products Hector Bellerin and Chuba Akpom back in the first-team after making his return to the pitch.

Gnabry, 19, broke into the senior squad last season, making 14 total appearances, but has been sidelined for most of this campaign after suffering with a long-term knee problem since April.

The German winger has seen close friend Hector Bellerin grow into a regular starter at right-back in the meantime, while striker Chuba Akpom has become the latest trainee to earn a place in the star-studded dressing room in recent months.

Gnabry is proud to see them make their much-deserved breakthroughs and, having made a 67-minute comeback in the Under-21s side’s 2-1 win over their Newcastle United counterparts earlier this month, is keen to get back into manager Arsene Wenger’s plans.

“[Hector, Chuba and I] have come a long way. We started here when we were 16 - that was three years ago and I still remember the time when I walked into the other side of the building,” he said.

“We’ve all seen that Hector’s shown what he’s capable of at first-team level whereas a couple of months ago nobody would have spoken about him. I’m really happy for him, he’s one of my closest friends and so is Chuba, so I’m very happy that the three of us have made that step together.

“It’s all you’ve been dreaming about, you’re just hoping for it to come one day and now it’s finally arrived, for me it’s excitement. Now you’ve just got to go out and show what you can do.”

Gnabry joined Arsenal from Stuttgart in 2011 and, having making his professional debut in September 2012, would go on to sign a new long-term deal with the club in October 2013.

Wenger said of the Under-19 international at the time: "We signed Serge Gnabry because I believe that he will be a great player. He's nearly there now, and competes for a regular place in the team in the Premier League.

"He has technical ability, he has power, he has pace, he has finishing quality and he can give a final ball. He's a powerful offensive player and I believe that he will be a great player for Arsenal Football Club.”

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