Summary

  • Gnabry has two goals in five league appearances for Bremen this term.
  • Germany Under-21 international joined club from Arsenal in the summer.
  • 21-year-old won a silver medal with Germany at the Rio Olympics.

After starting into the Bundesliga season with four straight defeats, Werder Bremen finally got off the mark in dramatic fashion on Matchday 5 as two late goals secured a turnaround 2-1 win against VfL Wolfsburg.

Come the final whistle, there was an almost palpable relief in the celebrations among the home players and fans alike at a heaving Weser Stadium – not least in the case of Serge Gnabry. The success against the Wolves was his first taste of victory in a Bremen shirt and the 21-year-old attacking midfielder contributed to it with a man-of-the-match performance.

A constant, fearless attacking threat down the left, Gnabry laid on the 86th-minute leveller for Lennart Thy as well as clocking up 10.8 kilometres for the team cause. “It's been a busy week and he's dealt with it impressively, staying sharp right through to the finish,” Werder sporting director Frank Baumann noted.

Baumann was a pivotal figure in the coup signing of one of Germany's fastest rising prospects from Arsenal FC just before the close of the summer transfer window. Bremen were by no means the only club interested in acquiring a player fresh from finishing the Rio Olympic football tournament as joint-top scorer. Indeed, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has acknowledged that he would gladly have held on to Gnabry and, indeed, “We were close to extending his contract but finally he changed his mind and went to Bremen.”

Gnabry featured for Germany at the 2016 Olympic Games this summer, winning a silver medal.

Stuttgart-born Gnabry joined Arsenal from VfB's youth ranks when he was 16 and at 18 became the second-youngest player ever to score for the north London side in the Premier League. He raised his international profile considerably over the summer as a key member of Germany's Olympic silver medal-winning side, netting six goals on the march to the final where they eventually lost out to hosts Brazil on penalties.

“I got a bit of momentum going at the Olympics. Werder haven't made an optimal start to the season but I think the team have the potential for an upper-mid-table finish,” says Gnabry, who netted his second goal in Bremen colours in the 2-2 draw at SV Darmstadt 98 on Matchday 6. With marquee new arrival Max Kruse and club record scorer Claudio Pizarro both currently sidelined, his own upbeat approach and attacking punch will be pivotal to that effort.