The German international filled in for Theo Walcott against Stoke City and with the England man missing for a few more weeks, he could make his second consecutive league start for the trip to Swansea on Saturday.
Wenger insists Gnabry has the technique and skill to compete in the Premier League and also feels that he is ready for the physical demands of the top flight.
Speaking to Arsenal’s official website, he said:
To play in the Premier League today is very seldom for a young boy who is 17 years old. But he has the body to cope with the duels and he is ready to do that.
We have some other boys who have the technical quality to play in the Premier League but are not resistant enough yet to compete physically, but he [Gnabry] has that.
It is a good opportunity for him. I haven’t decided if I will start him tomorrow [at Swansea] but he of course has a good opportunity. He is still a young boy but he shows that he has quality.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lukas Podolski, Santi Cazorla and Theo Walcott are all carrying knocks which means that unless Wenger wants to play a more experienced midfielder out of position, the 18-year-old finds himself as the only fit winger at the club.
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The German’s performance against Stoke at the weekend proved that he could establish himself in the first team. His passing success rate was just under 87% which suggests he can make the right decision even under pressure and also keeping in mind that Stoke aren’t exactly a subtle team. The Potters tried to bully Gnabry but he wasn’t fazed and was only disposed once.
However his performance in the Carling Cup against West Brom was not as effective as it was at the weekend. He looked a bit jaded and was often dispossessed too easily. His performance at the Hawthorns proved that he still has some way to go before he reaches the level where he can dominate but with a manager like Wenger behind him I don’t think we are that far away from seeing the best of Gnabry.
With Walcott out of action for a couple of weeks it will give him a great chance to shine and hopefully he will utilize this opportunity and succeed in becoming part of the first team this season.
What do you say Gooners?