Which number would Draxler wear at Arsenal?

Arsenal are heavily linked with interest and a potential move for Schalke starlet Julian Draxler but, if he signs this week for the Gunners, what number shirt would he be assigned?

At present the 20-year-old German international wears the No.10 shirt at Schalke – at the Emirates that number is occupied by Jack Wilshere who took it following the departure of Robin van Persie in 2012.

As an attacking midfielder, playmaker or winger, the traditional number would be No.7, which has been held by Tomas Rosicky since 2006.

The German ‘wonderkid’ has been compared to both former Arsenal striker Van Persie and their club record goal scorer Thierry Henry who wore the No.14 for the Gunners for 8 years but Theo Walcott is now the bearer of that squad number. 


The Gunners record signing this summer, Mesut Ozil took on the No.11 shirt also formerly held by Van Persie and, more recently, the departed Andre Santos. Van Persie now wears the No.20 shirt at Manchester United but that number was taken by Mathieu Flamini when he re-signed for Arsenal this summer.

The No.9 shirt belongs to another German forward, Lukas Podolski, whilst first-choice centre-forward Olivier Giroud claimed the No.12 when he arrived in 2012.

Mikel Arteta wears No.8, Emiliano Viviano No.13, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain No.15, Aaron Ramsey No.16, Nacho Monreal No.17, and No.18 is currently vacant as well as No. 27 which was vacated by Gervinho this summer.

No.29 was also vacated by Marouane Chamakh, and from there upwards numbers are held by the Reserves apart from No.32 to No.35 which are not particularly sought after numbers, along with No.2 vacated by Abou Diaby who now has No.24 and No.38 which is also free.

I would, therefore, expect, should Draxler sign for Arsenal this week, he would adopt the No.18 shirt, unless of course he takes the Nicklas Bendtner (formerly No.52 now No.23) or Mario Balotelli route and picks another number for another reason, such as his weekly wage figure or his preferred number from a different club.

He could perhaps do what Balotelli did and persuade a youngster, in this case it would be Ryo Miyaichi, to offer up his number from a previous club – Draxler wore No.31 at Schalke when he first broke through into the team but I would expect him to prefer the No.18, perhaps only until Tomas Rosicky eventually retires his No.7 shirt.

image: © wonker

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