It was in the run-up to last season’s January transfer window that Arsenal were most heavily linked with Schalke player Julian Draxler – so much so in fact that it appeared only a matter of time before the Gunners brought the promising young German to the Emirates.
But the move failed to materialise, and come the summer window Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was said to have turned his attention elsewhere, reportedly unwilling to pay £37.5million for a player he allegedly doubted could be moulded into a forward as had been previously suggested.
But with another winter window getting closer, the Draxler rumours have started up again, this time suggesting that the 21-year-old could be a replacement for club-record signing Mesut Ozil, rather than a teammate of his countryman.
Reports suggesting Bayern Munich are willing to pay £30million for Ozil should be taken with a pinch of salt. After all, do they really need him? But if Draxler really is being lined-up as his replacement the question has to be asked: Why?
Arsenal do not need another work-in-progress; a play-maker who has scored just one and set up one other in eight appearances this season and one who comes with a huge price-tag despite averaging a goal every 5.5 matches and, uncannily, an assist at exactly the same rate.
That is not the form of a player commanding a £37.5million fee, and not one Arsenal currently need.
They need ready-made stars similar to Alexis Sanchez and – so they thought – Ozil himself. Wenger has a fantastic blend of youth and experience in his side but now is not the time to add to the former.
Just as Chelsea added Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas to their squad, and Manchester United added Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao, so Arsenal should bring in an experienced (and effective) play-maker who can fire them to the next level.
Draxler is not that player – not yet and probably not for a few more years. They could buy him and develop him, patiently waiting for success. But haven’t Arsenal fans been patient enough already?