Arsenal winger Serge Gnabry has claimed that he was never given a chance to impress during his loan spell at West Bromwich Albion and admitted he is relieved to be back playing and scoring for the Gunners Under-21s side, as quoted by the London Evening Standard.
Gnabry was touted as the next big thing at the Emirates Stadium when he made his initial breakthrough into the first team in 2013, and won himself a new five-year contract with some impressive cameo performances.
However, after missing the entirety of last season after being ruled out for the majority of the campaign through injury, he has seen himself overtaken by the likes of Alex Iwobi and Joel Campbell in the pecking order.
However, that spell turned into something of a nightmare for the Germany Under-21 international, who made just a single Premier League substitute appearance and two Capital One Cup starts before being recalled in January, over three months after his last senior game time.
Since he has returned to the Gunners he has featured heavily for the club's youth side, and with two goals in his last two appearances Gnabry admitted it was a relief to feel as though he is returning to fitness and form once more.
He said, as quoted by the Standard: "It feels good. I’m getting back to full fitness after the loan at West Brom where I didn’t get a chance. I’m finally getting to play and it feels good to be getting fitter and fitter.
"I have played in the last couple of weeks, improving my fitness and doing well in training. If you work hard in training and do things right, you get rewarded on the pitch. That has been happening, and I’m happy to have scored twice in my past two games.
"When you come down a level from the first team, you have to use your experience to help the Under-21s and give them your advice. That is what all the first-team players do for the Under-21s."
With the young winger having fallen down the pecking order at Arsenal, it remains to be seen this summer whether the club believe his future still lies in North London.