Robert Pires has hailed young Arsenal winger Serge Gnabry as the ‘discovery of the season’, described Per Mertesacker as ‘indispensible’ and admitted that Lukas Podolski has him dying of laughter when he occasionally drops in on London Colney.
Describing his relationship with the Gunners as that of a ‘normal fan’ the legendary ex-Gunner said he was proud that Arsene Wenger had assembled a squad who were not only top of the league but also playing attractive football.
“I’m just a normal fan of Arsenal, when I see them play,” he told German publication Spox.com.
“The style is elegant, aesthetically pleasing and a reflection of the squad’s internationality. There’s a harmonious blend I really like between the English, German, French and Spanish.
“Moreover, I’m pleased with this type of football Arsenal are leading the Premier League. The second half of the season will be more difficult because the other teams in the hunt have signed reinforcements.”
On Gnabry’s rise to first team prominence, in a position on the flank which Pires made his own during six-year tenure at Highbury, the 40-year-old noted:
“Serge is clearly the discovery of the season. I see in him a top international player, he’s technically strong, he’s extremely fast with and without ball and he dribbles well. He can also occupy both wings as an attacking midfielder.
“Arsene like such versatile offensive players like [Julian] Draxler and Serge. In the future he’ll play Serge evern more than he does now.”
Asked for his opinion on Per Mertesacker, who has become a fundamental member of the Gunners defence, Pires continued:
“I like Per very much. He is now indispensable and his words have weight [in the dressing-room]. He’s a very good leader and the chief of the defense.
“Of course, he’s not as technically brilliant as our offensive players, but he syncs excellently with Laurent Koscielny and that ensures there’s balance in the team. If a game requires ‘fighting spirit’ Arsenal needs men like him.”
Having already spoken of Mesut Ozil and the link with Julian Draxler, Pires concluded his ode to Gooners’ Deutsch connection with warm words for Lukas Podolski.
“His left foot is a weapon, it’s something I’ve rarely seen. And what’s important for me, is that Lukas is an incredibly funny guy. You guys in Germany, know what a great guy he is? Whenever he plays he’s ripping into everyone in the dressing room with joke after joke in English helping everyone feel comfortable.
“Oh my god, just when I think about him, I die of laughter.”
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