One of the brightest talents to emerge from Germany in recent years, Julian Draxler looks to be the real deal.
Having featured in a total of 87 games for Schalke and scoring 14 times since his debut in 2011, one may frown at his goal tally.
But his his all-round playmaking, willingness to run at defenders and an eye for a laser-pointed, eye-of-a-needle threaded pass more than makes up for his seeming lack of goals.
Due to his eye-catching performances for both Schalke 04 and the National team, the Die Mannschaft in the last couple of seasons, the player’s stock has risen in Europe, resulting in several top clubs across the continent queuing for his signature.
As usual, the rumour mill has been twirling as the latest club to be linked to the player is Arsenal.
The player himself when interviewed by journalists admitted: "I have always said English teams are very big clubs and Arsenal is of course one of them.
"Of course I sometimes speak to Mesut Ozil or Per Mertesacker about the team, about the club, and they always have good words and they tell me nice things.
"They always have very young players, they play attractive football and that is what I like. You never know what happens- but Arsenal is a very, very nice team.”
With Arsenal’s growing German contingent consisting of Serge Gnabry, Thomas Eisfeld, Lukas Podolski, Mesut Ozil, Per Mertesacker as well as Arsene Wenger’s willingness to give younger players a chance to impress at the club, it is no surprise that Arsenal seems to be the best place for Draxler to flourish as a player.
Or does it? Looking at the area of the pitch where Julian Draxler is expected to play in if he makes a multi-million pound move to the English giants in the summer, it is evident that Arsenal have a plethora of talent jostling for just three midfield slots, a wealth that few teams in Europe can boast.
With the classy Ozil already earning a starting berth by virtue of his transfer fee as well as his incisive goal-creating capacity, Aaron Ramsey in the form of his life, as well as Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta, Tomas Rosicky, Santi Cazorla, Mathieu Flamini, Serge Gnabry and the injured Alex Oxlade- Chamberlain, it is difficult to see how the youngster’s career would flourish as he would have limited game time.
Another London-based club who are reportedly weighing up a move for the exciting playmaker is Chelsea. With no disrespect meant, Chelsea is not the kind of club that encourages the development of young players. Jose Mourinho, like his counterpart in North London, is spoilt for choice in the middle of the park as he can select from a pool boasting of the likes of Ramires, Oscar, John Mikel Obi, Frank Lampard, Andre Schurrle, Willian, Eden Hazard, Michael Essien, and Kevin De Bruyne.
So spoilt for choice is the Portuguese manager that a player of the stature of the imperious Juan Mata sits on the bench. Ditto for Manchester City where Manuel Pellegrini can call up the likes of Fernandinho, Jesus Navas, Yaya Toure, Samir Nasri, David Silva, Stevan Jovetic, James Milner, Javi Garcia and Jack Rodwell.
Although cross-city rivals Manchester United look thin in the middle of the park, David Moyes does not seem to be the kind of manager whose style of play would favour the lithe playmaker, evidence being Shinji Kagawa’s inexplicable sojourn on the Red Devils’ bench.
It is evident therefore that the best career path that the promising German star should take would be to remain at Schalke in order to garner more playing time.
This would automatically boost his chances of featuring for the Nationalelf in the not-too-distant future. Schalke represents the youngster’s best chance of development as an all-round playmaker.
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