By Nik Brumsack
Serge Gnabry admits he is surprised by the rapid rate of his development this season.
The highly-rated youngster has made four appearances for the senior team after a series of excellent displays at youth level caught the eye of Arsène Wenger.
Gnabry’s performances have drawn praise from the Arsenal manager, who described him as “a great hope for the future” - and that has done wonders for the 17-year-old’s self-belief.
“It’s the biggest confidence boost you can have,” Gnabry told Arsenal Player. “Arsène Wenger is one of the greatest coaches in the world and I’m happy to be in that position. I try to give him back what he believes in me.
“Since the start of pre-season, it’s gone very well for me. I’ve played in the Premier League and the Champions League, and of course that’s a big step. I’m very proud. I always thought that in football it can go quick or slow, but I didn’t expect it to happen so quick.
“It’s the mental side that’s hard. But you get used to it. At the beginning it’s a bit different - the stadium [and] the crowd. It’s lovely to be there. There’s bigger people who are very powerful. It’s kind of new, because I played against my age group before and now to play against 30-year-old men is a bit different.”
Gnabry is part of an growing German contingent at Arsenal and says he is grateful for the help he’s received from Lukas Podolski and Per Mertesacker.
“It’s very good to have two German people in the side. I can talk to them in my own language and that helps me a lot. They tell me to just keep going, work hard and enjoy being played in the first-team.,” said Gnabry.
“It’s just a dream but you have to realise it now. That’s the environment I’m in at the moment so it’s good. They’re German internationals. They’re quite recognised everywhere. It’s just good to be next to them.”
Watch the full interview with Serge on Arsenal Player now.Copyright 2016 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