Arsenal midfielder Serge Gnabry was among the scorers last night as the under-19 side booked their place in the UEFA Youth League quarter-final, where they will face Barcelona. Gnabry scored the third goal in Arsenal’s 3-1 win over Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk to set up the clash in Spain, with Jon Toral and Kristoffer Olsson also on the scoresheet for the Gunners.
While progression in the tournament shows that Arsenal have a bright future ahead of them, the tournament could be seen as a step down for German Gnabry, having appeared in the Premier League at the weekend in Arsenal’s 4-1 win over Sunderland. Gnabry, 18, has come up through the Arsenal youth system, making his Premier League debut in October 2012, as a substitute in Arsenal’s 1-0 defeat to Norwich at Carrow Road.
He also appeared in the Champions League and in two Capital One Cup games last season, but made a major breakthrough this season, making his first Premier League start in the 3-1 against Stoke, and scoring his first goal for the club in a 2-1 win at Swansea. In total he has made 13 appearances for the Gunners this season and his form has excited the Arsenal faithful, with his pace and drive seeing him compared to Theo Walcott.
His performance against rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup third round saw some calling for him to be Walcott’s replacement, as the winger was stretchered off, being ruled out for the rest of the season.