Not that long ago Julian Draxler was all set to be another German midfield wonder kid. He was the youngest ever Bundesliga player at Schalke, and not to mention a World Cup winner. He was on his way but progression has stuttered if truth be told.
He was brought in by Wolfsburg to replace the outgoing Kevin de Bruyne, but he could not prevent his new side from finishing higher than eighth. His own form suffered as a result and some didn't even see him as a viable candidate for Germany's Euro 2016 squad, but an injury to Marco Reus soon changed all that.
After starting the first two games in France, he was reliable and safe but not brilliant, so it was no surprise when he was replaced by Mario Gomez for their final group game. He made a surprise return in their round of 16 clash with Slovakia, replacing Mario Gotze in the starting 11.
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He was much improved in that game and assisted Gomez for his goal, as well as bagging one of his own. It was his first competitive strike for Germany. Things are perhaps looking up for Die Mannschaft's youngest ever captain.
He also scored his penalty in the crucial shootout against Italy showing great composure and maturity for a player, let's not forget, who is only 22 years of age.
Often linked with a move to the Premier League, he himself admitted that he wasn't ready a few years ago when rumors were rife, but now things are different.
His rise, decline, and eventual completion as a player shows us that anything can happen during a player's development.
Perhaps now Draxler is ready to be Germany's guiding light and possibly even leave the Bundesliga for a top European club. It's likely that if he remains at his current side he will eventually catch the attentions of Bayern Munich.
To think we nearly didn't see him shine, it's clear that so much pressure can be daunting for such a young man.
Luckily his native league never abandoned him. If he was developing in England perhaps he would not have been granted such kindness, time or patience.
We are too harsh, too quick to judge. Players should be allowed to mature at their own pace, we shouldn't rush them as this may negatively impact them and their development so severely that they never recover.
Although heavily linked, Draxler never joined Arsenal back in 2012. Instead, he stalled at Schalke before joining Wolfsburg a few years later for around £25 million. The move didn't initially pay dividends or reinvent the player, he suffered with injury and loss of form. Now at Euro 2016, he is finally shining and has been creative as well as explosive.
His ability as well as pace, passing, and vision coupled with flair makes him not only a fantastic player but one that's very appealing to managers.
A very exciting prospect, especially when you consider he has Bundesliga, Champions League, and World Cup experience at such a young age. He is unlucky more than anything else as the Germans are so spoilt with talent and options, and although his development stunted he now looks to be on his way again.
Draxler knows the difference a manager can make better than most. He has recently thrived for the national team after he had previously stuttered under Roberto di Matteo, who continually changed team tactics at Schalke.
He has now freed himself, and in Wolfsburg, found a team where he can really push forward. The team must still greatly believe in him as they paid a substantial amount even though his form was poor.
Draxler now has it all in his own hands and he can really kick on to become not just a key figure at club level, but an instrumental figure in the national set up for many years to come.
Will Draxler make a move to the Premier League anytime soon? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!
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