Julian Draxler is hoping for a big season. He needs one. The German admitted he needed to perform well consistently to get into his country's World Cup side for next summer, a tough task given the talent available to manager Jogi Loew.
He also admitted the difficulty of turning down big money moves to stay this summer with Schalke to ensure regular football in an important year, and is doing his bit to ensure the opportunities - with a superb volley catching the attention against Basel in the Champions League in midweek.
Arsenal and Chelsea are among the teams linked with his signature, for which a €45 million release clause would bind the Germans into his sale as per his contract.
Yet would Manchester United be the best team for the playmaker? Here are five reasons why Draxler's destination should be Old Trafford...
Paths at Chelsea and Arsenal are blocked
United can offer Draxler an opportunity which Chelsea and Arsenal simply cannot. At Arsenal, he would have to play second fiddle to countryman Mesut Ozil, which surely is not what the 20-year-old needs if he is hoping to dislodge him from the international side. As for Chelsea, where you start fitting him in? Juan Mata, Willian and Oscar are all competing for the number 10 role, and Draxler could even find himself being loaned out rather than used by his new side. This would surely make Manchester United the most attractive option and one the Red Devils can play on when trying to persuade the youngster.
More upside than Shinji Kagawa, who isn't working
Shinji Kagawa's adaptation to life at United has been a frustrating one, and the Japanese ace is not one who David Moyes seemingly knows how to get the best out of. If it gets to the end of the season and there is no improvement, United may have to take the pragmatic decision to invest in a younger player in Draxler who has arguably even more potential. In moving Kagawa on, possibly to Dortmund, United could recoup some of the cash required for the German.
Unlock Robin van Persie's goalscoring talents
We all know exactly how fantastic Robin van Persie is, a Premier League Golden Boot winner two seasons in succession. This year however he has not looked as dynamic, because United have not been able to provide him with the opportunities to do so. Bringing in Julian Draxler to Manchester United would help change all that. He would help open up space for the Dutchman and bring out the best in him - United's most lethal striker.
Answer fan criticism over lack of ambition
United's summer transfer window was farcical, with a number of marquee players approached to no avail. The signing of Marouane Fellaini on deadline day was seen as practical rather than exciting. Making a move for Germany's top young talent would ensure there is no repeat. Having Draxler at United would be seen as a key foundation in the future of David Moyes' side, and renew excitement among fans.
Kick off a German revolution at Old Trafford
Why should United let Arsenal and Chelsea have all the fun? Including their highly rated youngsters, Arsenal have six German players who can play key roles for them. while United do not have any. With German football in great shape, it could be considered the Red Devils are missing out. David Moyes is said to be a big fan of the Bundesliga so it is conceivable he will be looking in Draxler's direction. If the Schalke star signs, it is very possible more will follow. Draxler can be United's talisman and if he fulfils his potential, battle and even eclipse Arsenal's Mesut Ozil for supremacy.
Is Draxler the man for Manchester United?
image: © achimh