Julian Draxler has been linked with Arsenal for quite some time; and given his considerable talent that is no surprise.
The 20-year-old Schalke midfielder has been tipped for a summer switch to the Emirates, provided the Gunners’ pay his €45.5million release-clause.
With the signing of Mesut Ozil, Arsene Wenger showed he was not afraid to spend big to improve the team. But securing the services of one of Europe’s best play-makers is one thing, spending even more to sign a veritable rookie is quite another.
That said, Draxler already has considerable experience in the Bundesliga, having been the club’s youngest ever debutant three years ago this month.
And despite Schalke struggling somewhat this season (although they are just four points behind Borussia Dortmund) Draxler has continued to impress, scoring five goals and providing eight assists so far.
Schalke themselves have come out in recent days to say that while they hope to keep the player, they may not be able to, with sporting director Horst Heldt telling German newspaper Bild, “We still hope that Julian stays, but there are elements we can’t influence.”
But by next summer, Wenger may have something else to contend with in his reported pursuit of Draxler, and that is Andre Villas-Boas.
The former Tottenham man has today been linked with the Schalke manager’s job, despite Jens Keller currently occupying that position.
A tenuous link? Perhaps.
But if Schalke fail to qualify for the Champions League next season, Villa-Boas is being tipped to take over. And if Draxler is still there, his new boss may have some influence in where he goes…or more importantly, where he does not.
image: © justinlim