Arsenal can't trade Lukas Podolski for Julian Draxler

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Reports emerged today that Arsenal were ready to offer Lukas Podolski and £20m in exchange for the young German hotshot Julian Draxler.

Considering Podolski's fading role within the Arsenal first team and Draxler's apparent potential, it seems like a good deal on paper.

But such a move would be a pointless exercise for Arsene Wenger and may even end up being counter-productive for Arsenal's title challenge.

Podolski was brought to the Emirates in the summer of 2012 for a reported fee of £10.9m and wages worth £100,000 a week.

The fee represented fantastic value for money for the former German prodigy, who for a short time, was the youngest European player ever to reach 100 international caps.

Since his arrival, Podolski's efficacy on the pitch has been up and down. Last season, Podolski made 33 Premier League appearances managing to score 11 goals while assisting nine from a wide position.

Despite spending four months on the sidelines, Podolski has scored three goals in the Premier League this term, which is two more than highly-rated Draxler has managed in 14 starts in Germany.

And there lies the first clue that Draxler and Podolski aren't on the same level.

Draxler may be on his way to the top but he has some way to go before he arrives. Meanwhile Podolski is entering the prime of his career and has over 100 international caps of experience to help Arsenal.

Simply offering that experience up - and £20m along with it - for a player who is essentially a younger, less effective version of Podolski would leave Arsenal's team immediately weaker.

It's fair to say that Draxler has a good chance of being better than Podolski in a few seasons, but there was a time when a 20-year-old Podolski was tipped to be the next big player in world football. Although he has achieved a lot, it is fair to say that Podolski never reached his massive potential and just the same could happen to Draxler.

Considering Draxler has played under 100 professional games for Schalke in the Bundesliga, a prediction on his future ability is anything but certain to come to fruition.

Meanwhile Arsenal have a proven goal scorer and an accomplished assist maker available on their bench. It won't take much for Podolski to work his way back in to the team. Even against Fulham last week he came on only to crack the post with a 20-yard effort.

That's what Podolski brings to this team and, as they fight for the title, is what they will need more than anything - especially an unproven, over-valued hot prospect like Draxler.

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Lukas Podolski
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