Serge Gnabry isn’t Bayern Munich’s most important player just yet, but the Germany international showed exactly why he could be the player to take that mantle off Robert Lewandowski during their 4-1 win over Köln.
It was Bayern’s Polish striker who opened the scoring and Kingsley Coman added a second inside the opening five minutes, but it was Gnabry’s fantastic brace on Sunday which put the icing on the cake for the Rekordmeister.
The 24-year-old’s first goal was special. Gnabry plucked a long ball out of the air with a perfect touch on the edge of the six-yard box and, after jinking past a couple of defenders, he picked out the bottom corner of Timo Horn’s goal.
Gnabry’s second was similar, although this time the Germany international picked out Horn’s far post from outside the penalty area at a crucial point in the game when Köln started to get a foothold in the match.
The winger’s two goals were the perfect showcase of why Gnabry is rated so highly at Bayern Munich and why he’ll be the staple of their team for years to come, just like Arjen Robben and Franck Ribéry were during the last decade.
But Sunday’s win also showed the other side of Gnabry’s game which is stopping him from breaking into European football’s truly elite group of players.
Gnabry had the majority of Bayern Munich’s goalscoring chances and could have finished the match with four or five to his name, most notably missing what was effectively an open goal by spooning a five-yard shot onto the crossbar.
So while Gnabry was the driving force for Bayern Munich against Köln, the Germany international also wasted the chance to really make their dominance show on the scoreline.
Gnabry’s certainly shown that he’s already got the ability to be Bayern Munich’s marquee player in the biggest games, having scored four away at Tottenham in the Champions League group stages earlier this season.
But if he wants to become the club’s poster boy in their post-Lewandowski era, Gnabry needs to start putting together a consistent run of devastating performance no matter who Bayern Munich’s opponents are, and he needs to be just as ruthless in front of goal when the game’s wrapped up as he is as when it’s scoreless.
For more from Ben Carter, follow him on Twitter!