For all the world-class players to have appeared for the Germany national team over the years, an international debut hat-trick remains a very rare feat.
Before Friday evening, the last one had been 40 years ago, by Dieter Muller. Die Mannschaft’s 8-0 demolition of San Marino however, saw three goals bagged on his international bow by a certain Serge Gnabry.
— Gareth McKnight (@90MinsOnline) November 13, 2016
It is not the hat-trick though that will have left Arsenal fans reeling from shock – it’s the fact their former midfielder has progressed to a level high enough to force his way into the plans of Germany boss Joachim Low.
Most members of the German team that took the field against the minnows of San Marino would have been eyeing a chance to get on the scoresheet but it was Gnabry who was able to take maximum advantage, in a match that saw the away side have 40 shots and 85 per cent of the ball.
The former Gunners winger moved to Werder Bremen in the summer having become frustrated by a lack of first-team football at the Emirates Stadium.
The 21-year-old had joined Arsenal as a youngster from the academy of Stuttgart and has immediately begun excelling since his return to German football.
Bremen are toiling in the Bundesliga this term but the man they landed for just £5 million has been a revelation. Gnabry has scored four goals in nine appearances since arriving at his new club and that impact caught the eye of Low.
Arsene Wenger was reportedly keen that the young wide man remained in North London but the lack of playing time the Arsenal boss afforded to the player was ultimately key to him moving on.
Friday’s hat-trick will have Arsenal fans keeping an eye on his progress from now on, hoping a huge error of judgment has not taken place.