Bayern Munich’s Serge Gnabry has tested positive for COVID-19 on the eve the German champions’ European tie against Atlético Madrid.
The former Arsenal youth team player joined the Bavarian giants in the summer of 2017 for as little as £7.2m. After a season on loan at Hoffenheim, the 25-year-old winger broke into Bayern’s first team, thriving in the absence of famed wingers Arjen Robben and Franck Ribéry when they departed in 2019.
Last season was unquestionably Gnabry’s career-best campaign as the German wide man netted a sensational 23 goals across all competitions, finishing as Bayern’s second-top scorer as Die Roten claimed all three trophies on offer.
On Tuesday night, Bayern Munich revealed (via their official Twitter page) that Gnabry had tested positive for COVID-19, adding that the club’s new number seven is currently in quarantine and ‘is doing well’.
The news comes a little over 24 hours before Bayern Munich host La LIga giants Atlético Madrid in their opening Champions League game of the 2020/21 season. Assuming Gnabry’s infection is an isolated case, Bayern do have cover for the 25-year-old but will undoubtedly be weakened by his absence.
Bayern’s early piece of transfer business finally concluded the club’s long-running pursuit of former Manchester City winger Leroy Sané. Bayern’s number ten dovetailed brilliantly with Gnabry on the opening day of the season but after suffering a knee injury, is also ruled out of Wednesday’s meeting with Atlético.
One of several uncharacteristically late arrivals to Bayern Munich in the recent summer transfer window may represent Gnabry’s most likely replacement. Juventus loanee Douglas Costa – in his second spell at Bayern after spending two years in Munich between 2015 and 2017 – may very well take Gnabry’s place alongside Robert Lewandowski and Kingsley Coman.
Alternatively, Hansi Flick could turn to the 17-year-old Jamal Musiala, the England youth international who became the youngest ever Bundesliga scorer in Bayern’s history in September.