Scouting Spotlight: Serge Gnabry, Odsonne Edouard and Ollie Watkins

Scouting Spotlight: Serge Gnabry, Odsonne Edouard and Ollie Watkins
From ESPN - December 6, 2017

Scouting Spotlight takes a look at loanees from Bayern and PSG who are flying in their respective new homes and a Championship newcomer making his mark.

Serge Gnabry -- Hoffenheim (on loan from Bayern Munich)

After missing much of the season through injury, Gnabry returned to the Hoffenheim lineup in late November and demonstrated his quality at the weekend with a brace in a pulsating 4-0 win over RB Leipzig.

Playing style

A powerful and pacy dribbler, Gnabry can play across the front line but impressed mostly on the left wing for Werder Bremen last term. Favouring his right foot, the 22-year-old showcased his finishing ability with 11 strikes in 27 matches -- including a thunderous volley against Borussia Monchengladbach -- which helped earn a summer move to Bayern Munich.

Given the competition for places at Bayern, Gnabry joined Hoffenheim on loan almost immediately, where he continues to develop the talent that saw him handed a Premier League debut as a 17-year-old at Arsenal in 2012.

An industrious wide forward who possesses trickery and flair down the flank, Gnabry is also mindful of his defensive duties as he learns the tactical side of the game in the Bundesliga.

He has struggled with injuries in his nascent career and will be looking to push on after a punctuated start to the current campaign.


Gnabry marked his first team return at Hoffenheim with an assist for Mark Uth's last-minute equaliser against Eintracht Frankfurt in November, and has gradually built up his fitness as Julian Nagelsmann eases him back into action.

An explosive performance against Leipzig underlined why the former Arsenal youngster is so highly rated in Germany, having already scored three times in two appearances for the national team.

With Hoffenheim brushing Leipzig aside in convincing fashion, Gnabry opened his account by latching on to a long ball and firing past Peter Gulacsi, before catching the goalkeeper off his line 10 minutes later when he struck a wonder goal from 45 yards.

Where would he fit in?

Bayern appear keen for Gnabry to return to the Allianz Arena when his season-long loan comes to an end, but it's likely he will continue to look for first team opportunities after asking to join Hoffenheim in the summer.

A move back to England is a possibility, with Arsenal wistfully keeping track of his progress and Chelsea also linked with the forward during his impressive spell at Werder Bremen last year.

Odsonne Edouard -- Celtic (on loan from Paris Saint-Germain)

Hailed as an outstanding talent by Brendan Rodgers and a "real killer" in front of goal, Edouard has had to remain patient for opportunities at Celtic. He took his chance to impress on Saturday with a hat trick in a 5-1 demolition of Motherwell.

Playing style

With quick acceleration and sharp movement around the penalty area, Edouard looks a natural poacher at just 19 years of age. He is capable of darting behind the defence or playing with his back to goal, using his strength to hold up the ball and bring teammates into play.

Rodgers has commended Edouard's anticipation, touch and versatility, with the striker's close control making it difficult for defenders to dispossess him.

Enjoying only his second season of senior football, he is still a raw talent, but the French youth international has displayed plenty of early promise.

Ollie Watkins -- Brentford


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