We’ve become used to calling Gnabry a Robben successor. But how does he actually stack up against the established stars of his position?
As far as common football parlance is concerned, the term “world class” is rather overused. Even so, it still carries some weight. As fans of Bayern Munich, we’re used to having world-class players at every position. Guys like Robert Lewandowski, Thiago Alcantara, Thomas Muller — all these players have proven that they deserve the moniker, over years and years of consistent performances.
Yet ever since Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery steadily declined from 2017 onward, Bayern have sorely missed a truly world-class player at a key position — the wings. This has been a source of much frustration for both the management and the fanbase, leading to the club’s dogged attempt to pry Leroy Sané from the clutches of Manchester City. Finding a replacement to the Robbery-partnership has become the most important item on Bayern’s transfer agenda.
However, what if I told you that we’ve already found one piece of the puzzle? Yes, as you’ve probably guessed by now, this article makes the case that Serge Gnabry, German national team superstar and the destroyer of London, is actually world class. And by that, we mean to say that he is world class RIGHT NOW, a true top-5 player at his position.
In 2019/20, Gnabry has elevated his performances to a level where they’re on par with the best in the world. However, for whatever reason, he seems to be going under the radar. So here’s our attempt to fix that problem, by comparing him to some of the most well known names in the sport. If anyone ever tells you that Gnabry’s “not that great,” shove this article in their face. The numbers are staggering.
In the Bundesliga
The Bundesliga is no stranger to great winger pairings. Pretty much every team uses wide players very extensively, and this is reflected in the league’s abundance of outstanding wingers. There’s Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho, who has been tearing the league apart as of late — and his teammates Marco Reus and Julian Brandt. Bayer Leverkusen has Leon Bailey, and there’s Werder Bremen’s Milot Rashica as well.
How do we compare these guys to Gnabry? Well, understat.com has a handy comparison tool that lets us see their performance radars, which includes numbers for buildup, goals, assists, and key passes — all adjusted to per 90 minute stats to eliminate the impact of minutes played. Let’s take a look at what we get: