Tony Pulis doesn’t believe Serge Gnabry is ready for regular first team football at West Bromwich Albion claiming Academy matches haven’t prepared the winger for life in the Premier League.
A year on the sidelines, caused by a knee injury, saw the 20-year-old’s career hit a roadblock at the Emirates last season, however, the prospect of regular football this term looked to be the perfect scenario for all parties.
Strangely, the Germany under-21 international has only played 13 minutes of top flight football since moving to the Hawthorns in August on a season-long loan; a state of affairs that has had supporters of both Arsenal and the Baggies wondering what’s going on.
Touching on the situation in local paper The Express and Star, Tony Pulis explained: “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’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.”
To counter Pulis’ argument you might suggest that freezing out a player and claiming he lacks experience isn’t a great way to treat someone who was sent out on loan to gain experience. Alas, it looks as though the ball is very much in Serge’s court right now and he’ll have to do a fair bit to turn the manager’s chav-capped head.
What’s ironic is that with Theo Walcott now a bona fide option up front and Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Tomas Rosicky all injured it would only take a knock to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain before we’d struggle to fill the right attacking midfield position – the role Gnabry excelled in when he broke into Wenger’s first team at 17.