After a successful loan spell at Hoffenheim last season, Serge Gnabry has finally been unveiled as a Bayern Munich player, and after maturing dramatically since his return to Germany, the soon-to-be 23-year-old says he’s ready to play for the Bundesliga champions.
“I wouldn’t be sat here if I wasn’t ready for the challenge,” Gnabry said speaking at his first press conference as a Bayern player. “I think the best way to see what I can do is just by watching me. I really enjoyed the second half of the season with Hoffenheim because I played as much as possible. Now I’m ready to bring that feeling to Munich.”
Gnabry, who scored 10 goals in 26 appearances during his time with last season’s fourth-place side – including eight in just 14 games after the winter break – was speaking alongside new Bayern coach Niko Kovac, and the former Eintracht Frankfurt boss spoke of his delight at having a player who has hurt his teams in the past now in his own squad.
“He did really well for Hoffenheim in the games against Frankfurt, and even Bayern,” Kovac said. “Gnabry’s skills are the kind that Bayern have been looking for, and abilities that Germany will look for in the future. I’m happy he’s on our team, and not anyone else’s.”
The Stuttgart-born forward had spent five years in England with Arsenal and West Bromwich Albion in the English Premier League. Gnabry only made 21 first-team appearances in his time with both English clubs, and admits that he struggled in his time there. But the Germany international has stated how his recent years of maturing have brought him to where he is today.
“I do have maturing qualities,” Gnabry said. “I turn 23 soon and it’s a process until the end of your career to keep learning. It’s true that I’ve learned a lot and have changed a lot. It’s also something about having a lust and passion for the game. I struggled at Arsenal, but now I’m able to be free and play and train again. There’s a lot to learn on the path that I’m on, but that’s what I’m looking forward to.”
Gnabry is returning to fitness from injury, but will be part of the club’s first training session on Monday, welcoming in the new season. The 22-year-old knows he needs a full summer of work behind him in order to build up momentum so that he can challenge for a place in Kovac’s Bayern squad in 2018/19.
Watch: Gnabry scored against Kovac's Frankfurt last season!
“I’ve been here for a couple of weeks and I’m not far away from being fully fit,” Gnabry confirmed. “I have to see how I feel but when I’m ready I’ll start training with the team. Bayern has a big and strong squad. I’m looking forward to playing with them. We need all the players we can get and I’m looking forward to learning from them all.”
Gnabry will be a part of Bayern’s tour of the United States this summer, heading to Philadelphia and Miami during July.