“Serge has come here to play games but he just hasn’t been at that level to play the games,” said West Brom manager Tony Pulis a couple of months before sending Serge Gnabry back to Arsenal in 2016.
Six months later the Gunners sold him to Werder Bremen for less than £5m.
On Tuesday, Gnabry became the first player to score four goals in the second half of a Champions League game as Bayern Munich destroyed Tottenham 7-2.
It’s safe to say the 24-year-old winger, who has scored nine goals in 10 matches for Germany, enjoyed his return to north London.
Gnabry put on a devastating display of speed, skill and finishing to score with four of his five shots – netting twice in the space of 112 seconds, then twice more in the final 10 minutes.
His evening was so productive that he has scored as many goals at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as Spurs striker Harry Kane has managed.
However, Gnabry is not even the most prolific player in Bayern’s team.
Robert Lewandowski, who scored twice, with Gnabry setting up the first, has scored in every Bayern game this season bar the season-opening German Super Cup. That’s 14 goals in his past nine games.
At the same time as Gnabry’s four-goal haul, West Brom were losing to Championship promotion rivals Leeds. Do you reckon they wish they’d given him more than 135 minutes of football?
Away from Gnabry’s heroics, the day was about as bad as it could get for Spurs. Here are some unwanted landmarks and records they managed…
- It was the biggest home defeat by an English team in any European competition.
- It was the first time in Spurs’ 137-year history that they have conceded seven goals in a home game.
- It was the first time since a 7-1 Premier League defeat by Newcastle on 28 December 1996 that they have let in seven goals.
- They are the first English side to concede seven goals in a home European match (they were also the first to concede six).
- They are the first English side to concede seven goals in a European game since the last time they did it – when a makeshift Spurs lost 8-0 to Cologne in the 1995 Intertoto Cup.
- The most goals Spurs had conceded in a European home game was last season in a 4-2 defeat by Barcelona.
- This was Mauricio Pochettino’s joint heaviest defeat as a manager, alongside a 5-0 loss to Real Madrid in March 2012 when in charge of Espanyol.