Serge Gnabry admits his life has been transformed since he started playing regular first-team football for Arsenal.
The teenage forward has enjoyed a breakthrough season, making 14 appearances for the Gunners and scoring his first goal at Swansea in September.
Such is the speed of Gnabry's progress that it is easy to forget he only joined the club in 2011 as a 16-year-old academy prospect. Now he is even being mentioned as a contender for Germany’s World Cup squad.
I have grown up a lot since I came from the youth team, and it is a good experience to be playing, training and learning from all the top players hereSerge Gnabry
“I am very happy with how this season has gone,” Gnabry told Arsenal Player. “I am a very young player, so to be alongside all these top players, in a squad with massive potential, has been really good. I have been involved in most of the games so I am very happy.
“[My life] has changed a lot. Obviously you get more attention from fans and get recognised more often. Also, as a player you feel confident when you are in and around a team of top players. I’m just trying to get to the next level now.
“It makes you a better person. I have grown up a lot since I came from the youth team, and it is a good experience to be playing, training and learning from all the top players here.”
Gnabry has adapted well to the rigours of first-team football, but says it is a clear step up on what he has experienced before.
“It is very tough to play in the Premier League, you have to be at a constant level - both physically and mentally,” he said. “You have to prepare for the games and be spot on in them, so really that is the biggest challenge for me.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 2 Apr 2014