Where are they now? The six wingers Tony Pulis preferred to Serge Gnabry

Quick Reads

Serge Gnabry and West Bromwich Albion were the opposite of a match made in heaven.

The German winger moved to The Hawthorns on loan from Arsenal at the start of the 2015-16 season, with Arsène Wenger insisting he “has the quality to play in the Premier League,” but Baggies manager Tony Pulis didn’t agree.

Gnabry played just once in the league, a 12-minute run-out against Chelsea, before having his deal cut short in January. He never really recovered during his time in England, and proceeded to move to the Bundesliga that summer.

Of course, we all now know he is thriving for Bayern Munich, but the guys keeping him out of the Albion team must have been pretty special, right?

Perhaps not. While Gnabry is flourishing in the Champions League, here’s what his former rivals are up to four years on.

James Morrison

One of West Brom’s longest-serving players at the time, Morrison scored both West Brom goals in that defeat to Chelsea and was a regular until injury cut short his season in January.

The Scot missed most of the 2017-18 relegation campaign due to Achilles problems, but returned to play 19 times in the Championship last season.

Having been released over the summer, he is yet to find a new club and has admitted he is considering retirement.

Chris Brunt

Northern Ireland international Brunt has transitioned from midfielder to more of a full-back in recent years, but he was an option in a wide midfield role during the 2015-16 season.

The former Sheffield Wednesday man played 22 games before picking up a season-ending injury in February, and returned to play at least 25 times in each of the next three seasons.

Now 34, he is still a West Brom player.

James McClean

One of Gnabry’s younger rivals, McClean was in his mid-20s in the 2015-16 campaign, his first in an Albion shirt after joining from Wigan Athletic that summer.

He missed just three games as West Brom pushed for a top 10 spot before falling away at the end of the season with a nine-match winless run.

McClean moved on after relegation in 2018, joining fellow Championship side Stoke City, and has been a near ever-present this season for the team sitting bottom of the table.

Callum McManaman

The man who made way for Gnabry against Chelsea, McManaman was making his first West Brom start after a £4.75million summer move from Wigan.

However, he would only start six more games in the Premier League, joining Sunderland in 2017 and then returning to Wigan a year later.

He left the Latics for a second time over the summer, joining Luton Town on a free, and his three starts this season are already more than he managed across the last Championship campaign.

Alex Pritchard

Pritchard joined on loan from Spurs as a like-for-like Gnabry replacement when the German returned to Arsenal, and didn’t have much more of an impact.

The then-22-year-old played just twice in the league, both times from the bench, before returning to parent club Tottenham and subsequently making a permanent switch to Norwich.

The Canaries sold him to Huddersfield Town in 2018 and Pritchard helped keep the Yorkshire club in the Premier League that season. 2018-19 was less productive, though, and he is still with the Terriers in the Championship.

Stèphane Sessègnon

Benin international Sessègnon had been linked with a move away from The Hawthorns in the summer of 2015, but he stuck around and played a further 25 games.

The versatile attacking midfielder would end up leaving at the end of the 2015-16 campaign, though, having scored just twice – openers against Stoke and Man City.

After a couple of years in France with Montpelier, he moved to the Turkish Süper Lig in 2018. He’s now in his second season with Gençlerbirliği, where his team-mates include former Rangers man Daniel Candeias and Nadir Çiftçi, once of Celtic.


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