Arsene Wenger believes Serge Gnabry was ‘manipulated’ by Bayern Munich, who promised him a future at the Allianz Arena when he left Arsenal.
Gnabry, who Wenger brought to the Gunners when he was just 16, failed to make the grade in north London and subsequently clinched a £4m move to Werder Bremen in August 2016.
Such was the impact the midfielder had at the Bundesliga side, Bayern activated the release clause in his contract after just one season before sending him out on loan to Hoffenheim – where he scored 10 goals in the 2017/18 campaign.
He has since gone on to establish himself as a first-team regular at the Bundesliga giants, scoring four goals as Niko Kovac’s men ran riot against Tottenham in the Champions League last week.
Wenger says he always believed in Gnabry’s abilities, but claims a loan spell at West Brom ‘destroyed’ his confidence.
“He was always a very talented boy who lacked confidence in some stages, but we always thought we had a player who could achieve a lot,” he told beIN SPORTS.
“He came back from a very bad experience at West Brom where his confidence was destroyed. I tried to rebuild him because I believed in him.”
On Gnabry’s departure from the club, he added: “We tried to extend his contract for a very long time and I think that Bayern manipulated behind the scenes, that if he went to Bremen he would join Bayern after.
The omens look good for Gnabry, who has already scored seven goals in 11 games in all competitions for club and country this season.
However, Wenger maintains that the Germany international must add consistency to his game to continue operating at the highest level.
“A top-level career is consistency, if you look at the players that dominate our sport it’s the ones that show HUGE consistency and that’s what is it at stake,” he explained.
“Can he maintain the quality of performances that he showed the other night? That is the question.”
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