Opinion: Bayern Munich’s Serge Gnabry has finally earned his place in the starting XI

FC Bayern München v 1. FSV Mainz 05 - Bundesliga

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Bayern Munich’s winger Serge Gnabry has always been a bit of an enigma. On his day, he can be one of the world’s best players, period. Case in point: Bayern’s 2019/20 Champions League campaign, which saw him score a whopping 9 goals against some of Europe’s best sides. And then, if you analyze his 2020/21 and 2021/22 campaigns, he has been largely inconsistent, both domestically and in Europe.

I have been one of Gnabry’s biggest critics, in that the player has usually been very hot and cold in terms of goal contributions. Consistency is something that the winger has seldom had in his Bayern Munich career, having a few great games every season sandwiched between performances ranging from “bang average” to “embarrassingly appalling.”

FC Internazionale v FC Bayern München: Group C - UEFA Champions League

It does sound harsh, but sometimes, the player simply cannot get the ball to find the back of the net. His shots become erratic, and his confidence seemingly takes a hit, leading to poor all round attacking output. This has meant that Jamal Musiala and Leroy Sané have been the preferred options on the wings this season, with Gnabry on the outside looking in.

However, with Sané’s injury, Gnabry got the opportunity to man the RW spot and turn his fortunes around. And that is exactly what he’s done. Over the course of the past month, Gnabry has looked unrecognizable. Bossing defenses with his physicality and pace, finding fellow attackers with some unbelievable vision, and displaying the composure to finish chances… the chef is doing it all.

The winger is in torrid form, registering goal contributions in all his previous 5 games, while also contributing tremendously to overall buildup and ball progression.

This included his incredible performance against Barcelona that saw him register a hattrick of assists. As someone who has criticized Gnabry for his lack of offensive consistency multiple times in the past, it feels so good to be witnessing this sudden burst of output from the player. One can only hope that this form lasts, because Gnabry can win Bayern Munich the Champions League once again. When he’s in form, he’s a man on a mission.

Here’s to keeping our fingers crossed and hoping for something truly special this season. The chef is cooking, and he’s ready to serve something delectable.

Opinion: Bayern Munich’s Serge Gnabry has finally earned his place in the starting XI

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