Arsene Wenger says he’s “very sad” that Serge Gnabry was unable to make the grade at Arsenal.
Gnabry fired Bayern Munich into the Champions League final after a 3-0 win over Lyon on Wednesday night.
The winger’s double helped book a showdown with PSG after the French champions’ 3-0 win over RB Leipzig on Tuesday.
It was yet another incredible display from the Germany international, who has become of Europe’s finest talents after leaving Arsenal to return home in 2016.
And former Gunners manager Wenger has lifted the lid on the player’s exit, revealing that he backtracked on a verbal agreement to quit the Emirates after failing to break into the first team.
“Let’s not forget Gnabry, I bought him at the age of 15 from Stuttgart and he was injured a lot,” Wenger told beIN SPORTS.
“He’s creative, he can score goals, right-footed, left-footed, good power, good penetration, very, very clever with the timing of his runs. His tendency was a bit too easy, like I told you about with young, talented players.
“But he has matured a lot and he is one of the dominant players now in Germany.”
Wenger also admitted he didn’t want Gnabry to leave, but the player ultimately opted to make the move to the Bundesliga after a miserable spell on loan at West Brom.
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Wenger added: “No, no [I didn’t want to let him go]. We had an agreement with him. I had given him out on loan to West Brom and he didn’t play a game, came back, he was injured.
“We worked with him very hard for six months and he went out with the German national team under-21s. Bayern made a deal with Bremen and in the end he didn’t want to extend the contract [at Arsenal].
“I was very sad that we couldn’t get over the line with him because I knew that he would have a great future. He can play No 10, he can be a No 9, he is a very intelligent player.”