Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta may be about to repeat Serge Gnabry transfer mistake

Arsenal have sold many players they shouldn’t have over the years. But, when it comes to young talent, Serge Gnabry appears the most glaring of them all. And, now, Mikel Arteta could be about to make a similar mistake when it comes to Matteo Guendouzi.

Since being crowned champions of England in 2004, Arsenal have made bad decision after bad decision when it comes to the transfer market.

Whether it was allowing Alexis Sanchez to leave for nothing (albeit in a swap deal), selling Robin van Persie to Manchester United or giving Mesut Ozil a bumper new deal, the Gunners have got things wrong. Very wrong.

But while the exits of Sanchez, Van Persie, Emmanuel Adebayor, Samir Nasri and many more hurt the Gunners, fans have a reason to feel particularly gutted about Gnabry.

He, like Guendouzi, was a top talent in the making.

Arsenal thought he had the potential to be a special asset and, in 2015, sent him on loan to West Brom – convinced a spell at the Hawthorns would help his development.

Except things didn’t go to plan and, after a year of struggling, the Germany international was sold by Arsenal to Werder Bremen for just £5million.


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  • Who Arsenal demanded Man Utd give them in Sanchez transfer talks

Tony Pulis slammed Gnabry during his time at West Brom. His quotes, now, make for frankly bizarre reading.

“Serge has come here to play games but he just hasn’t been for me, at the moment, at that level to play the games,” he said just months after the German’s arrival.

“He’s come from academy football and not played much league football. Does academy football really prepare players for league football? And we’re talking about Premier League football here.

“As a manager you pick a team that’s going to win a game of football.

“You pick your best team, you don’t leave people out because you don’t like them, because of this, that and the other.”

How wrong Pulis, and Arsenal, have proven to be.

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Gnabry has bounced back from his struggles in English football to emerge as a true Bundesliga superstar, recently helping Bayern Munich to another league crown.

And, earlier this season, he showed his old teams exactly what they’re missing with a stunning performance against Tottenham in the Champions League.

The 24-year-old was electric that evening, scoring four goals to push Mauricio Pochettino closer to the Tottenham exit door.

And it seems like years of believing in himself, of trusting his own talents, has paid off.

Gnabry has had his talent harnessed and used correctly at Bayern. From 31 appearances in the league he managed an impressive 12 goals – and 11 assists.

And now Arsenal risk making the same mistake with Guendouzi.

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There’s no denying he’s not behaved appropriately in recent times. Caught laughing at a training session, a bust-up with Neal Maupay against Brighton. It doesn’t look good.

And Arteta has responded brutally, refusing to name the 21-year-old in his matchday squads for recent victories against Southampton and Sheffield United.

However, Arsenal run the risk of letting another top young talent go elsewhere. The more Arteta keeps it up the likelier Guendouzi will push to leave come the end of the season.

And while he’s been far from perfect for the Gunners he certainly has talent that can be moulded and natured. There’s a reason why Barcelona and Real Madrid are at the front of the queue.

Arsenal need a swift resolution to this dilemma. Arteta needs to forgive and forget. If not, his management style may do more harm than good. 

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