Transfer news: Robert Pires and Jens Lehmann back Arsenal in their £35m pursuit of Schalke midfielder Julian Draxler

Club heavily linked with German midfielder in this transfer window

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The Independent Football

Robert Pires and Jens Lehmann, integral members of Arsenal’s unbeaten ‘Invincibles’ side of 2003/04, have both backed the club in their pursuit of the  £35m-rated of Schalke midfielder Julian Draxler – although former goalkeeper Lehmann doubts the deal will happen in this transfer window.

Gunners manager Arsene Wenger is reported to be fan of the 20-year-old, who has won 10 caps for Germany, and has starred for Schalke in the Champions League this season.

Lehmann, who himself made 61 appearances for Germany between 1998 and 2008, and also started his career at Schalke, claims a move to the Premier League leaders would be “good” for Draxler but suggests it is more likely to go through in the summer .

“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.

“Probably not now in the winter break because he can still play Real Madrid in the Champions League with Schalke. He can see Schalke will be qualified for next year’s Champions League.

“With Arsenal, he has a bigger likeness of playing in the Champions League next year, which is quite certain. Of course, it may give him a bigger chance to play at the World Cup with Brazil.”

Schalke's Julian Draxler has caught the attention of Arsenal


The French winger Pires, meanwhile, says that the attacking Draxler will “fit perfectly” into Arsenal’s style of play.

“Julian is a good player. He's young and has a lot of potential for development,” Pires told

“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.”

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