Having signed Willian on a free from Chelsea, Arsenal addressed a gap in their squad down the right-wing, handing a hefty contract to a 33-year-old player.
And yet there’s a 25-year-old forward over in Bavaria having the time of his life who could have been the answer to all their problems had they just managed to hang onto him.
Serge Gnabry spent five years at Arsenal, during which he made 18 appearances, scored one goal and assisted another two, also spending a year out on loan at West Bromwich Albion.
That temporary deal did very little for his confidence as he was barely used, and a move to Germany, to Werder Bremen more specifically, was arranged not long after he returned.
That’s when he truly burst onto the scene, and signed for Bayern Munich a year later for a mere £7.2m.
He was then sent to Hoffenheim to get some first-team experience, before returning and rarely leaving the Bavarian club’s starting XI from that point onwards.
He’s made a big name for himself since, and France Football decided to go talk to people who have worked with him throughout his career.
Among those was Ramon Gehrmann, who was Stuttgart’s U12-16 manager at the time.
He told the magazine the player’s father one day approached him and asked him: “Ramon, Arsenal want Serge. Is it better to go or stay?”.
He continued: “I was the manager there, but I was honest. I told him ‘You have to go because Arsène [Wenger] knows Serge. He’s met him, whereas our first-team manager doesn’t even know his name. If he’s lucky, he’ll play for the reserves at Stuttgart…’ They went to London, and a few months later they gave me a present, a wooden elephant, symbol of luck in Africa. I kept it!”
As well as Gehrmann, they spoke to John Toral, who played with Gnabry in the youth teams at Arsenal.
He said: “We arrived together at the age of 16 in the U18s, but he quickly went to the reserves because he was really good. From the start, we could see he was a phenomenon: quick, a good dribbler, great passing, a scorer, complete, ambidextrous…. Playing with him was a pleasure. I came from Barcelona, so I liked to have the ball, combine with him.
“It was so easy to play with him, with or without the ball, thanks to his vision. He’s the type of player who understood which movements I needed him to do when I had the ball, and vice versa. At Arsenal, if you’re good, you get your chance, regardless of your age (…) After having played with the pros, Serge came back in the reserves, but it didn’t bother him. He was great with a perfect attitude”.