The 18-year-old began his football journey with the German club before he moved to Arsenal in 2011, taking a place as one of the most talented midfielders in Arsenal’s youth system.
He’ll always have that association with Stuttgart because it’s where he’s from but a report in German newspaper Bild has suggested the Gunners did superbly to prevent him from going back to Stuttgart during the summer.
It’s the place where he grew up, first started playing football and learning about the game and that initial help and support he was offered will always stick in his memory.
“It is true, he would have had the opportunity to return again this summer. But he has chosen to be at Arsenal though - we of course watch him. If he goes a good way and a regular for Arsenal, it will be difficult for sure,” Sports Director Jochen Schneider told Bild.
It was a gamble for Gnabry because there was no guarantee that he’d feature prominently in the Arsenal first team this season.
However, he came into the side when the Gunners needed a wide man with Theo Walcott and Lukas Podolski in the treatment room and he had a big impact, grabbing his first goal during the Premier League clash against Swansea City.
First team football is the only reason he could ever contemplate a move away from North London because otherwise it makes no sense.
Arsenal are a very exciting team to be part of at the moment, offering the chance of success domestically and looking good in the Champions League.
That European competition itself was always going to be a reason for Gnabry to stay put, even if it meant he only got a token game at the end of the group stage once qualification to the knock out round had been secured.
The standard at Arsenal is also significantly higher, which will have a beneficial effect on his all round game.
Gnabry has had a taste of first team football with the club and even if he drops back down into the Under-21s, the quality and standard of players at all levels of the club is better than what he’d face up to back at Stuttgart.
Gnabry’s deal with the Gunners expires in 2015 so there will be more stories of potential exits to top European sides and a return to Germany.
However, he looks like a very special player and what’s more likely is that after signing his own new contract with the club, Arsene Wenger will work hard to tie Gnabry down to the Gunners for the next four or five years at the very least.
How do you think he’s played this season?
image: © NextGen
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