Serge Gnabry
Serge Gnabry was unable to force his way into Tony Pulis' first-team plans last season Getty

Serge Gnabry is the latest Arsenal player set to miss the start of the 2015/16 Premier League season. The 21-year-old midfielder has been selected as part of Horst Hrubesch's 18-man Germany squad to compete at next month's Olympic Football Tournament in Rio de Janeiro.

Arsene Wenger is already likely to be without Alexis Sanchez for the Gunners' top-flight curtain-raiser against Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium on 14 August, with the Chile forward nursing a painful ankle injury sustained during the Copa America Centenario final victory over Argentina last month.

Laurent Koscielny, Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud could also be absent as Arsene Wenger aims to afford the quartet a four-week break in the aftermath of their respective exploits at Euro 2016.

Injury-plagued striker Danny Welbeck is expected to be out for at least seven more months after undergoing surgery to correct significant cartilage damage in his right knee, which ruled him out of contention for England's miserable campaign in France.

While those five are integral and valued members of the first-team squad in North London, it remains to be seen whether Gnabry has the talent necessary to succeed at Arsenal after a failed loan spell at West Brom. He made just three appearances across all competitions for the Baggies and featured for just 12 minutes in the league amid concerns from manager Tony Pulis over his current level of ability. Wenger recalled the player in January and he subsequently returned to the U21 ranks.


Joining him in Germany's squad for Rio are Schalke's Max Meyer, Julian Brandt of Bayer Leverkusen and the Bender twins, Lars and Sven. Borussia Dortmund's World Cup-winning centre-back Matthias Ginter is also included alongside Cologne goalkeeper Timo Horn, captain Leon Goretzka and Nils Petersen.

"The anticipation ahead of the Olympic Games is massive," Hrubesch said. "Rio has been a goal that we have been working towards for a long time now. It will be a unique experience for us and one that the players will be able to tell their grandchildren. We have a good mix of current U21 players and older players in the team. Despite the difficult decision of who to nominate, the squad is of a very high quality. I am happy for every individual and I am sure that plenty is possible with these lads."

Germany's football team are making their first appearance at the Olympics since unification, having last earned a second bronze medal as West Germany thanks to the goals of Jurgen Klinsmann at Seoul 1988. They have been placed in Group C alongside London gold medalists Mexico, South Korea and Fiji. Hrubesch's side open against the defending champions in Salvador on 4 August before moving on to Belo Horizonte – scene of the senior side's 7-1 World Cup humbling of hosts Brazil in 2014.