Low wanted to take 18-year-old Gnabry to 2014 World Cup
Serge Gnabry is regarded as an automatic starter by Germany coach Joachim Low and he might have attained that status earlier had a serious knee injury not prevented him from featuring at the 2014 World Cup.
Gnabry was considered a prodigious prospect at Arsenal after signing from Stuttgart as a youngster in 2011, breaking into the Gunners’ first-team squad the following year at just 17.
He then featured 14 times across all competitions before suffering a bad injury against future employers Bayern Munich in the Champions League in March 2014, ruling him out of first-team action until the 2015-16 season.
An unsuccessful loan spell at West Brom followed in that campaign, but Gnabry got his career back on track after moving to Werder Bremen, earning a switch to Bayern where he has developed into one of Europe’s most exciting wingers.
Gnabry’s route to the top has been rather more convoluted than many would have expected during his early days at Arsenal and, according to Low, his 2014 injury robbed him of a place in Germany’s World Cup-winning squad in Brazil just before his 19th birthday.
Joachim #Löw on @SergeGnabry : “He has the qualities to play at the highest of levels. We need to play to his strengths and give him the support he needs. As he’s shown over the past year, if he’s fit then he simply has to play.” #DieMannschaft #ESTGER pic.twitter.com/d6tQhMHgt2
— Germany (@DFB_Team_EN) October 12, 2019
“In spring 2014, I made a couple of trips to London,” Low told reporters ahead of Sunday’s Euro 2020 qualifier with Estonia.
“He played well in several matches and really impressed me. I wanted to include Serge in the squad for the 2014 World Cup, but he was unfortunately injured.
“He has been very strong in several matches for us recently. I like the way that he moves and how dangerous he is in front of goal.
“He is fortunate to have the chance to play at the very highest level. We need to encourage that and support him.
“Based on his performances over the past nine months, he needs to be on the pitch for us if he’s fit and able to play.”