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Bayern Munich: Serge Gnabry suddenly “essential”



Can currently rely on Serge Gnabry again: Thomas Tuchel.

Serge Gnabry is suddenly back on top at Bayern Munich. This gives him a special status with coach Thomas Tuchel and may result in an unexpected award. A short time ago there had been justified criticism of him.

With his brace against FC Schalke 04, Serge Gnabry has scored four goals in the past three games, and he has finally overcome his long-lasting slump in form. “I said to him at half-time: ‘Don’t come into my dressing room if you haven’t scored any goals,'” reported sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic.

In addition to this portion of extra motivation, there is the backing of coach Thomas Tuchel. “Sometimes you need a bit of trust, a bit of playing time, a bit of luck,” explained the FCB coach, alluding to the goal against Werder Bremen when the 27-year-old failed to hit the ball properly and still put it into the net. “Nothing is as important for a striker as goals. There are no videos, no training sessions, no conversations.”

And Gnabry already has 13 of them on the account. The national player even has a realistic chance of dusting off the top scorer cannon at the end. The leader, Niclas Füllkrug from Werder Bremen, is currently injured and may not be able to add to his 16 goals. If Gnabry’s run continues, three goals in the two remaining games against RB Leipzig and 1. FC Köln are definitely possible. There is another hot pursuer in Randal Kolo Muani from Eintracht Frankfurt (14).

Serge Gnabry could achieve extraordinary things

If Gnabry is actually at the top in the end, he would even achieve something extraordinary. Since 1994/95, when midfielder Mario Basler scored 20 times with Heiko Herrlich, there has not been a top scorer in the Bundesliga who is not usually based in the center of the attack. This has only happened four times in history. In addition, there is Alex Meier (2014/15), who sometimes also acted behind a clear lead.

Gnabry, on the other hand, has played twice as many games on the right flank and scored seven goals in that role. In his seven games as a center forward, he scored five times. In general, Gnabry is considered an all-rounder on the offensive, and he was also on the pitch on the ten or left this season. Since Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting is currently struggling with his body, the storm center belongs to him.

Even if Bayern’s number one striker returns, Gnabry – in whatever position – should be on the pitch. Tuchel sees him as “indispensable”: “Serge has a great character and is a great guy. He enjoys training and is extremely positive. He worked hard for it and deserved it. Now he’s lucky again, that’s why he stays in place.”

Serge Gnabry broke twice this season alone

Gnabry had already held the indispensable status in a phase under Julian Nagelsmann when he was directly involved in eight goals in the six games before the World Cup break. In the six games before that, however, he didn’t even appear in the statistics relevant for attackers before he fell into a hole after the World Cup – as so often during his time at Bayern Munich. The dry spell stretched from the 16th to the 29th match day, when it was only enough to score two points.

In the past few seasons, outliers like the hat-trick in the 6-0 win over Bremen or short stages like at the end of the first half of the season have increased his quota. He last scored three goals in a row in the 2019/20 triple season – the best year for the native of Stuttgart. In the other games, Gnabry often seems like a foreign body that doesn’t succeed at all. So also during the second half of the season, which is why there were rumors about a farewell.

Serge Gnabry: rumors about a farewell to FC Bayern

With regard to the striker debate, next to Sadio Mané, Gnabry was mostly talked about when it came to the sales candidates for the summer in order to be able to finance a top-class transfer. Outside of the controversial trip to Paris Fashion Week, critical voices were also the order of the day. Due to the current form high, the topic has subsided again, but after an almost traditional flood of bad games, it can quickly boil up again in the future.

However, it is unlikely that the paths will separate. After this end of the season, Tuchel has no reason to advocate a sale. Especially since Hasan Salihamidzic continues to believe in Gnabry’s abilities and not without reason did away with any rumors before the start of the season with a contract extension until 2026.

With a rumored annual salary of 17 to 19 million euros, Gnabry has to perform consistently well. Who knows what the patience of Tuchel and Salihamidzic will be if the cooking spoon is not swung for several weeks in his sixth season in the Bayern jersey. Maybe Gnabry’s phases of weakness will be turned off if he goes into the new season as the title hero from the close race for the championship.

Serge Gnabry: A comparison of the last four Bundesliga seasons

season games (minutes) starting eleven shots Goals (Assists) xGoals
2022/23 32 (1,783) 20 79 13 (4) 10.9
2021/22 34 (2,185) 25 68 14 (5) 8.3
2020/21 27 (1,644) 20 59 10 (2) 8.0
2019/20 31 (2,193) 26 95 12 (10) 12.4