Serge Gnabry allows a small smile to creep across his face.

"I'm pretty satisfied with how the season has gone," he tells Arsenal.com. And with good reason.

Still only 17, the German youth international is sure to look back on the 2012/13 season with plenty of fondness.

During a 10-day spell in October, Gnabry made his Arsenal debut, got his first taste of Champions League football and then started his first game at senior level in the incredible 7-5 win against Reading in the Capital One Cup.

If I keep working hard and keep showing of what I'm capable of in training I will hopefully get some more chances

Serge Gnabry

"I'm 17 and I've had a couple of games with the first team," he recalls. "That's helped me get more experience. I had a back injury which kept me out for two months and that put me back a bit. I didn't really get a chance after that but it's up to me and I just want to keep working hard.

"Obviously the Premier League game against Norwich and the Champions League game against Schalke are highlights for me. We lost both games so I can't really be satisfied but I think I did quite well. It was all about experience and I'm grateful that I played in those two games."

Celebrating the winning goal against CSKA Moscow
Celebrating the winning goal against CSKA Moscow

With first-team opportunities hard to come by following his return to fitness in January, Gnabry returned to the youth ranks, where he has been a stand-out performer in 2013.

He struck the decisive blow against CSKA Moscow in the quarter-final of the NextGen Series at Emirates Stadium before showcasing his talent in the dying embers of the semi-final against Chelsea, twisting and turning in the area before arrowing a shot into the top corner to take the tie to extra time.

I think I’ve made some improvements to my game. Playing in the first team and training with them has helped me a lot

Serge Gnabry

Gnabry has also impressed in the Under-21 Premier League elite group, consistently producing skilful and energetic performances, with an audacious 20-yard lob against Liverpool at Anfield the obvious highlight.

And while the immediate focus will be on the visit of Wolves in the under-21 league on Tuesday night, Gnabry's long-term target is to follow in the footsteps of Jack Wilshere by establishing himself in Arsène Wenger's first-team plans.

"If I keep working hard and keep showing of what I'm capable of in training I will hopefully get some more chances," he said.

"I'm hoping to be in the squad for pre-season. It's about training well every day and showing the manager what you have.

“I think I’ve made some improvements to my game. Playing in the first team and training with them has helped me a lot. I've improved my left foot and I've scored a couple of goals too.”

“I look up to Jack Wilshere at the moment. He's played loads of good games consistently. He's good on the ball and has improved very much from before the injury. I look up to him. He came through the ranks as well and he's kind of an idol for us.”

Follow live tweets from Tuesday night’s match on the @ArsenalLive account from 6.55pm (UK time)

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source Nik Brumsack 30 Apr 2013