Born in Gladbeck in the Westphalia region of Germany in 1993, Julian Draxler signed for Schalke 04 at the age of eight. 

He made his debut for Die Konnigsblauen in January 2011 in a match against Hamburger SV and scored his first Bundesliga goal just three months later against the other side from Hamburg - FC Sankt Pauli.

The 19-year-old has since recorded no less than 109 appearances for Schalke 04, netting on 21 occasions. His efforts for the Gelsinkirchen club haven't gone unnoticed by German coach Joachim Low, who has given Draxler six caps, most recently in a friendly against the USA in Washington D.C. where he opened his scoring account with Die Mannschaft, despite the hosts winning the match 4-3.

Julian Draxler has also just ended what is without a doubt the best season of his short career, a season which saw him cement his place in the starting 11, as he made 39 appearances in all competitions for Schalke and scored 13 goals, including one in the derby against their biggest rivals - Borussia Dortmund.

His regular place in the Schalke line-up was all but guaranteed after Lewis Holtby moved to Spurs in the January transfer market, at which point Draxler began to mature as a player, scoring important goals in the heated race for fourth place to console for an under-performing Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who had to deal with many injuries over the course of the season.

Draxler is normally played behind the lone striker in a 4-2-3-1 formation - an attacking formation that is ubiquitous in the Bundesliga - though he has previously been used as a winger. He presumed this role in the latter half of the season, after the departure of Lewis Holtby and the introduction of the predominantly left-sided midfielder, Michel Bastos, who signed on an 18 month loan deal from French side Olympique Lyonnais.

What he doesn't contribute to the defence at the Veltins Arena, he more than makes up for in attack as he utilises his pace and quick-feet to beat defenders and he has proven on several occasions that he is capable of releasing a thunderous drive. He displayed all of these talents in one move earlier this season when he scored against Greuther Furth, who were relegated from the Bundesliga this season.

Julian Draxler is definitely destined for bigger things than Schalke – who haven't won a German title since the pre-Bundesliga days – however it would probably end up being a huge mistake if he were to make a move to bigger club too soon, particularly abroad. It would be no surprise though, to see Draxler in the English Premier League or Spain's La Liga in the coming years.

 

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Topics:
#European News
#Bundesliga
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