Not so long ago, players were declared as “young talents” in their early twenties, but today professionals are oftentimes “superstars” or “established players” already by that point.
Bayern Munich’s Serge Gnabry is certainly that — a young and already established player. He is also a regular national team player with a seemingly bright future ahead for both club and country. In an interview with Playboy, Gnabry talked about his youth days and how there is inherent pressure on developing players to take a professional approach to the game even at a young age:
Of course, it is helpful if you know early on that you want to become a professional, but a child should also remain a child.
The 23-year-old made a difficult choice of accepting a move to a big club at a very young age. When he was just 16, Gnabry moved from VfB Stuttgart to Arsenal.
Gnabry admitted that the move was not easy, but also doesn’t regret the choice:
Who knows where I would have been if I had stayed in Stuttgart. Back then I was determined for that path and I wanted to take that risk [of leaving]. I had few concerns, but I’m just a risk person [Risiko-Mensch].
The positive thing is that he had an important mentor by his side — his father, who went with Gnabry to London and taught him a lot about discipline and persistence:
I should do more than the others — that was his [dad’s] motto and certainly not a bad tip.
After Gnabry’s spell at Arsenal, he came back to Bundesliga and joined Werder Bremen. A year later, he was bought by Bayern Munich and immediately loaned out to Hoffenheim. Now, Gnabry plays regularly for Bayern and consistently shows why he was brought to Bavarian Giants.
Gnabry definitely has to make his performances more consistent, but without a doubt, the Germany international has the capabilities to be a long-time fixture in the lineup for Niko Kovac.