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Julian Draxler can fill the void left by Kevin De Bruyne at Wolfsburg

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The wait is finally over, Kevin De Bruyne has left Germany to join Manchester City in a monstrous £55 million transfer.

There's no doubt that he had an incredible season, providing a phenomenal 20 assists - more than anyone in European football.

De Bruyne was a crucial cog in the Wolfsburg machine that finished second in the Bundesliga and won the DFB-Pokal. He was also crucial to the fortunes of Bas Dost, who finished the season with an impressive 16 goals. The striker arguably benefitted most from the Belgian's creativity.

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Wolfsburg wasted no time in identifying a replacement for De Bruyne. Reports surfaced from the German media on Sunday morning that Schalke's Julian Draxler was close to becoming a Wolfsburg player and a big-money deal was completed on Monday.

Firstly, £55 million is an enormous sum of money to receive for a single player. This allowed Wolfsburg to not only purchase Draxler, but also Dante from Bayern Munich and Denis Praet from Anderlecht, whilst still being in profit.

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Draxler can replace De Bruyne

Whichever way you look at it, that's great business. The question now is: can Draxler fill the void left by Kevin De Bruyne?

Draxler is a wonderfully-talented midfielder with enormous potential and is adored at the Veltins-Arena, for good reason. At just 21, he's already made 118 appearances for his club, has 15 caps for the German national side and was part of the squad that won the 2014 World Cup.

Strong on either foot, Draxler has real pace and is extremely gifted in one-on-one situations. He can also create goals for others, is a good finisher and is extremely dangerous from long range. The German is adept at playing on either side of midfield or in the number 10 position, he broke into the Schalke side in 2011 aged just 17. He was dubbed the 'German Cristiano Ronaldo'.

The following year proved to be breakthrough season for Draxler, appearing in 30 of Schalke's 34 Bundesliga games and was crucial in the clubs return to the UEFA Champions League as they finished third in the Bundesliga.

He then was able to push on in the 2012/13 season, scoring 10 goals and providing three assists in 30 Bundesliga appearances, as Schalke progressed to the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League and finished fourth in the Bundesliga. He was fast becoming the clubs prime creative outlet and their most important player.

His progression showed no signs of slowing as had another excellent season the year after, being included in the Bundesliga team of the season and was named Bundesliga young player of the year in 2013/14.

As the 2014/15 season approached, Draxler had already staved off interest from all the major European clubs, including Chelsea, Real Madrid and Arsenal. The pressure on his young shoulders from both inside the club and outside was massive.

After an characteristically slow start to the season, he sustained an innocent looking thigh injury in the first minute of game against Augsburg in October.

Further tests revealed that he'd torn a tendon and was ruled out for at least 6 months. Without him, Schalke struggled and eventually finished sixth in the Bundesliga, missing out on Champions League football. He returned to the first team action in April 2015 but couldn't return to his pre injury form.

At £25.5 million, Julian Draxler is a truly excellent signing for Wolfsburg. Still only 21 and with seemingly unlimited potential, the German will thrive as the main creative outlet.

If Draxler can return to the form he showed a few seasons ago, Wolfsburg have a future Ballon d'Or contender in their ranks.

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Topics:
Football
Bundesliga
Germany Football

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