FC Schalke star Julian Draxler has made it clear that he’s staying at the Bundesliga club for next season.
The talented German youngster has done enough to force his way into the Germany World Cup squad and he’s reportedly turned his back on the idea of a potential move to Arsenal.
The Gunners were close to getting a deal done for the 20-year-old last winter so why the sudden change of heart?
The Express suggests that Arsene Wenger saw him as a replacement for the experienced Mikel Arteta, which could be the main reason Draxler didn’t want to entertain further thoughts of moving to the Emirates as the Spaniard is a completely different player.
“Arsenal had looked in pole position to sign Draxler as a replacement for the ageing Mikel Arteta - however his latest comments suggest they will be forced to look elsewhere,” reads the Express’ report.
“He said: "I have absolutely no thoughts of moving.”
Arteta’s current role in the Arsenal squad is that of a predominantly defensive player.
He’s been used in rotation alongside Mathieu Flamini over the course of the season, sitting in front of the back four and pulling the strings in Arsenal’s midfield. He’s been one of Arsenal’s best players in terms of defensive midfield stats this season.
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The idea that Wenger planned to use Draxler as a replacement for Arteta suggests that he may have been planning to change the German’s game, with Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla both capable of playing the number ten role in Arsenal’s current midfield setup.
Draxler is an attacking player, capable of playing in Mesut Ozil’s position at the top of the midfield or slightly wider on the left hand side.
The fact Schalke finished third in the Bundesliga is also important because it gives them another chance to play in the Champions League next season.
Had Schalke finished in a Europa League spot or with no European football to offer at all then Draxler could have been much more open to the idea of moving to North London.
Arsenal will move on as will Draxler but they’ve missed their chance to snap him up.