By Sir Hardly Anyone
As you may have noticed if you read our occasional reviews of transfer tittle-tattle, Untold Arsenal doesn’t think much of newspapers and websites that fill up their columns with speculation about who Arsenal are going to sign in the summer, not least because of their accuracy in the past few years, which has meandered between one in every hundred rumours being correct and three in every hundred rumours being correct.
But even we have to admit that one caught our eye this week: “Bayern Munich respond to Serge Gnabry’s ‘desire’ to leave in transfer window”
It was interesting not just because he was an Arsenal player, but also because he has just won four successive league titles with Bayern. Why on earth would he want to leave?
According to the Mirror “Bayern Munich sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic has said he “hopes” Serge Gnabry stays at the Allianz Arena amid suggestions the German international is looking to leave.
“Gnabry is out of contract in 2023, and it has been suggested that his chances of extending the deal are 50:50.”
OK so maybe he wants more money (Real Madrid and Manchester City seem to have no limits), or maybe he wants more craziness (in which case Barcelona would seem to be a good option),
Either way, what on earth would make him want to come back to north London? And yet the Mirror continues, “The former Arsenal man has been linked with a return to north London, and his reported desire to play as a central striker could see him leave the Bundesliga champions.”
Here is his record of late
We can see from these figures he is not a natural striker knocking in 20 or more goals a season, but he could play as a number nine who allows those around him (Smith Rowe, Saka, and I suspect from next season, Martinelli) to share the goals with him.
That he wants to leave (if that is true and not just another piece of journalistic gibberish) seems a trifle strange and the reason can’t be a lack of trophies, nor indeed the lack of trophies in the future, since having won the German league for each of the last nine years, he can be fairly sure that Bayern Munich will win it again next season and the season after. And the one after that. And….
But it seems hard to imagine that he would specifically want to return to England after he was treated in such a disgraceful manner by the appalling Tony Pulis at West Bromwich, who took him on loan and then refused to play the player. Mind you Pulis, you may recall, was subject to a Premier League Managers’ Arbitration Tribunal which ruled in 2016 that Pulis should “pay £3.7m damages to the club in a dispute about the way he left at the start of the 2014-15 season.”
Crystal Palace stated that Pulis told Palace he was committed to the club, and thus got a £2m bonus. Two days later he left. Palace sued him on the grounds of deception and challenged the order in the High Court but the court ruled against him.
And apart from all that Pulis, in his final job as manager, had a win rate of 10% before being sacked by Sheffield Wednesday. In November 2021 he “hit out at television pundits who have ‘failed as managers’ and complained their proliferation has led to greater pressure on Premier League bosses.”
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