Is Draxler the signing Arsenal need in January?

Julian Draxler

Arsenal are linked with Schalke youngster Julian Draxler this week after months of speculation but is he the signing Arsenal need?

The 20-year-old German international has been linked for months on end with a move to the Emirates after an impressive spell in the Bundesliga in 2013.

The attacking midfielder will be hoping to build on his 10 caps for the German national team at this summer’s World Cup in Brazil.

Hailed as a ‘wonderkid’, Draxler scored 13 goals and made 7 assists for Schalke last season in all competitions.

This season so far he has added 5 goals and 8 assists predominantly deployed as a winger and attacking midfielder.

Arsenal, meanwhile, are linked with a number of strikers in the January transfer window given their reliance on Olivier Giroud this season. Injury to Theo Walcott who will be out for six months compounds this problem for manager Arsene Wenger who has suggested he could look for a ‘stopgap’ solution ahead of the summer.

The Gunners have been linked with the likes of Karim Benzema and his young Real Madrid teammate Alvaro Morata as well as Porto’s Jackson Martinez after bids for Luis Suarez and interest in Wayne Rooney failed last summer.

Arsenal’s requirement for a striker is not only evident but well documented – it’s not a secret – and that is not what Draxler is.

Is he a goal scorer? Yes, never mind his exceptional technical ability and immense potential but at 20 years of age surely it’s a lot to ask of a guy who has played barely a season and a half of Bundesliga football, just starting to make his name, to come and join a Premier League title fight as a centre-forward.

Meanwhile, Wenger has an abundance of quality in the very positions Draxler is most comfortable and capable in – Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla, Tomas Rosicky, Alex Oxlade-Chamerlain, and Lukas Podolski, not to mention his Germany colleague Mesut Ozil.

I don’t think, from a practical perspective, the player will be advised to join a squad with so much competition ahead of the World Cup. He needs to be playing and he’s doing just that at Schalke.

And, speaking of Ozil, let’s not forget probably the most frugal manager in the Europe spent almost three times his previous transfer record this summer to bring the playmaker in and, to an extent, keep the fans happy and genuinely mount a title challenge.

I don’t expect Wenger to spend the thirty-something million it’ll take to convince Schalke, especially in January and especially when Arsenal have so many players who can play in his position.

Arsenal need a striker and if he really must spend in January and if he really can’t wait for the summer, Wenger will spend money on an experienced proven striker who can keep their title fight alive, not a midfield ‘wonderkid’.

image: © DerHans04

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