Former Tottenham boss Tim Sherwood is amazed Serge Gnabry has developed into a top class player at Bayern Munich – having thought he was ‘average at best’ while with Arsenal.
Gnabry, the winger, was highly rated at the Emirates when his career started brightly, making 14 appearances in 2013/14.
However, a serious knee injury kept Gnabry sidelined for the entire following campaign, and he was sent on an ill-fated loan spell to West Brom the year after for guaranteed game time.
This guaranteed game time never arrived, however, with Tony Pulis selecting Gnabry for just 12 minutes of Premier League football.
He returned to Arsenal but never played for the club again, instead joining Werder Bremen in August 2016.
And since the Stuttgart native returned to his homeland, the 24-year-old has developed into one of the most exciting talents in European football, going on to star for Bremen, Hoffenheim – and now Bayern Munich!
He scored 13 goals last season in his debut year with the perennial German champions, and has already added one goal and three assists this term.
LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS
Unlucky Man United? Alternative Premier League table, based on xG
‘Tiny, slow’ – Joe Hart’s initial thoughts on the Man City 'wizard'
'He is leading this Man United team' – McTominay lauded by Ferguson favourite
Wizards of the wings
'We'll exploit it' – Gnabry explains where Bayern could hurt Spurs
'Has he got to catch it?' – Alan Brazil in handball rant after United vs Arsenal
Gareth Southgate to Tottenham rumours dismissed by former England boss
Murphy's Liverpool warning: 'You can’t keep doing that and getting away with it'
'i didn't see it'
Emery quizzed on Xhaka allegedly 'ducking' Man United's opening goal
'He'd have been a squad player at United' – Keane in cheeky dig at Vieira
'Show a bit of courage' – Roy Keane's message to Paul Pogba
Carragher's combined Man United and Arsenal XI had one notable omission
to the whistle
Solskjaer bemoans linesman's flag but says Arsenal definitely deserved goal
Gnabry returns to north London this evening to take on his former club’s fierce rivals, Tottenham, in the Champions League group stage, with Bayern hoping to make it two wins from two after beating Red Star Belgrade 3-0 in their European opener last month.
And Tim Sherwood, the former Tottenham manager, has admitted his surprise at seeing Gnabry develop into a key player for the Bundesliga giants.
“One player who looks like a different boy is Serge Gnabry,” Sherwood told Tuesday’s Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast. “When I saw him at Arsenal I thought he was probably average at best.
“But give credit to him; he’s gone away, developed and now looks a real threat.
‘We’ll exploit it’ – Gnabry explains where Bayern could hurt Spurs
“They [Bayern] are going to be very, very tricky.
“I’m going for a draw, and I don’t think a draw is the worst result for both sides.
“I think both these teams will qualify from the group.”
Sherwood was Tottenham’s final manager before the successful appointment of Mauricio Pochettino in 2014, and only now is Spurs’ current boss feeling the pressure in north London.
LIVE on talkSPORT
Check out all the live commentaries coming up across the talkSPORT network this week
- Leeds vs West Brom (Tuesday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Lille vs Chelsea (Wednesday, 8pm) – talkSPORT
- Charlton vs Swansea (Wednesday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORT 2
- AZ Alkmaar vs Man United (Thursday, 5:55pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Birmingham vs Middlesbrough (Friday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Brighton vs Tottenham (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT
- Fulham vs Charlton (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Burnley vs Everton (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2
- West Ham vs Crystal Palace (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT
A series of shaky displays have increased doubts over the Argentine’s future, especially given Tottenham lost to Colchester in the Carabao Cup last week and also failed to beat Olympiakos in their Champions League opener.
But Sherwood has defended his successor and says it is not fair to judge Pochettino given Spurs are in a transition period right now.
“Mauricio is no fool,” Sherwood continued. “He’s a top manager and knows they are having a little bit of a dip and there are certain noises coming out there.
“But they are going to finish in the top four.
“If they are going to improve on last season they need to win a trophy – that will be what he is trying to do.
“It was massive to get beat on penalties at Colchester – no one expected that – and that [the Carabao Cup] is the easiest trophy to win.
“But they are out of that now so must dust themselves down.
“I thought it was a good result in Olympiakos; it looks poor because they were 2-0 up and let a two-goal lead slip, but it’s not the end of the world.
“Let’s not forget last year – how many times did we write them off and say, ‘that’s it now, they are out the Champions League’? But they kept going and kept going, and by hook or by crook they got to the final.
“I wouldn’t be too critical on them. They are in transition as well with a lot of uncertainty there over whether players stay or players go, and it looks like they are going to have a few more leaving.
“And without doubt they will bring a few more in, so it is a rebuild there as well.
“But I don’t think they’ve fallen away as far as the other teams who are chasing Manchester City and Liverpool.”