Julian Draxler profile: An eye for a goal and 'his ball control is exemplary' - what Arsenal could be getting from the young German
A look at the 20-year-old Schalke midfielder as he edges towards a move to the Premier League
“His ball control is exemplary, he’s the future of this club.” Words used to describe Germany attacking midfielder Julian Draxler, who looks to be edging closer to joining Arsenal and strengthen their pursuit of Premier League glory.
Former Schalke manager Felix Magath praised Draxler as “the future”, but it seems his future lies in north London with reports that the Gunners have sent officials to Germany to finalise a big-money move to the Emirates.
Given the calls for a world class striker to be added to the ranks, it seems a little strange that Arsene Wenger would add another midfielder to his squad, with a wealth of talent already at his disposal in Mesut Özil, Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky, and that’s not mentioning the return to fitness of Lukas Podolski and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain,
But 20-year-old Draxler is capable of playing across the midfield as well as a central role, meaning he could either free-up Podolski to play as a striker of replace Giroud in a false-nine formation.
His eye for a goal helps him in this role, given he finished as joint top goalscorer for Schalke in the Bundesliga last season with 10 goals, along with striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. With Ramsey ruled out for the near-future after suffering a setback in his recovery from a thigh injury, a move for Draxler could be rushed through in order to beat the 11pm deadline on Friday, as the transfer has appeared to have been delayed until the summer.
Former Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann labelled him as "great" and stressed that he can go on to become one of the best players Germany has produced in recent years, while his ex-team-mate Robert Pires claimed he will fit in with the rest of the squad.
“I think Julian Draxler is perceived to be one of the greatest, talented young players in Germany. So it would be a good move for him to go to Arsenal,” Lehmann told Sky Sports.
“Julian is a good player. He's young and has a lot of potential for development,” Pires told SPOX.com.
“When I watch him play, I always think that he fits perfectly with Arsenal's style of football. I can see him playing well on the left-hand side or in attack. He could really strengthen the team.”
Draxler became the fourth youngest player to appear in the German league when he made his debut against Hamburg on January 15 2011 – aged 17 and 117 days. He has since gone on to make 133 appearances for Schalke, which is situated in the city of Gelsenkirchen nearby his hometown of Gladbach in the North-Rhine Westphalia.
Having started the 2011 German Cup final, he became the youngest player to score in the final as he volleyed in from outside the area to begin a 5-0 landslide victory over Duisburg.
He has made 10 appearances for the German national team so far, having made his debut on May 26 2012 in the 5-3 defeat to Switzerland, although he missed out on inclusion for the 2012 European Championships.
Should Wenger pull-off the acquisition of Draxler, he will become the seventh German to feature in the Arsenal squad, with Ozil and Podolski joined by Per Mertesacker, Serge Gnabry, Gedion Zelalem and Thomas Eisfeld.
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