Bayern Munich winger Serge Gnabry has revealed that Tony Pulis’ determination to sign him is what convinced him to join West Bromwich Albion on loan in 2015.
The 24-year-old’s time at the Baggies was an unusual and unsuccessful one. The German joined from Arsenal in August 2015 and made just three appearances before returning to the Emirates in February.
It appears he didn’t impress Pulis during his time with the Midlands club, with the Welshman suggesting that Gnabry was not up to the level of the Premier League.
Writing for The Players’ Tribune, the German winger has addressed his time with the Baggies and revealed that it was Pulis’ determination to sign him that had convinced him to join the club.
He explained: “You know what’s funny? For everything that’s been written in the papers about my time at West Brom, and what the manager thought of me and everything, I think I’m still just confused.
“When I got there, I was really positive about everything. The reason I chose West Brom over some other clubs is because of how much the manager seemed to want me there. Obviously, I wasn’t 100% fit.
“I was coming off such a long recovery. And obviously, I’m a certain kind of attacking player, and West Brom wanted to play a different way. But then … why did you bring me there? I got a 15-minute run at the end of the Chelsea match, and then I wasn’t even in the squad after that.
“I sat in the stands for six months, doubting myself, and I never got an explanation why.”
Gnabry’s career has gone from strength to strength since leaving the Hawthorns.
He left Arsenal to join Werder Bremen in August 2016 and after grabbing 11 goals and two assists in 27 appearances in his debut season for the club was snapped up by Bayern Munich.
The 24-year-old impressed out on loan at Hoffenheim in the 2017/18 campaign and has now cemented his place as one of Bayern’s key threats – scoring 18 times and providing 11 assists in his 33 appearances this term.
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Gnabry has developed into a top class player and proven that he has what it takes to succeed at the highest level of European football, so it is interesting to hear his take on his time with the Baggies.
Clearly, Pulis didn’t rate him but it is interesting to hear that the Welshman and his actions were what convinced him to make the switch.
West Brom may look back on it with a little regret but certainly not as much as Arsenal, who have watched their academy product develop into a quality performer elsewhere.