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On The Move: Julian Draxler targeted by Manchester United and Arsenal


On The Move: Julian Draxler targeted by Manchester United and Arsenal

A lot has happened in Julian Draxler’s world since the start of summer. After his first season in the Wolfsburg shirt, the young German had a big stage to impress on. The Euros seem to have come around at the perfect time for Draxler, with the German being able to carry his club form into the national side.

As Germany progressed to the semi-finals, Draxler became an ever-more prominent figure for his team, starting in five of Germany’s six games. With his only goal coming in the 3-0 win against Slovakia, Draxler found other areas of the game to impress.

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From the wide left position, Draxler found space to drive at his opposite number finishing the tournament with a 61% take-on success. His league success rate was also an impressive 71%, and the German also created more than a chance per appearance with six to his name before his side bowed out the tournament after the 2-0 loss against France.

Aged just 22, Julian Draxler still has some time ahead of him before his peak years, yet he plays with an experience and complete football brain. The club who signs the German; who may not move anywhere according to Wolfsburg’s sports director, would certainly be buying a quality asset. However, who is in prime position to gain his signature?

Expected: Arsenal

Links between Arsenal and Julian Draxler have been around for an age, ever since the German burst onto the scene at Schalke. Having chosen against a move to the Gunners, and instead signing for Wolfsburg, the German is still connected with rumours of him joining Arsenal.

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It is reported that Arsene Wenger would have to break the club record fee for Draxler yet with additions needed, the German could be the man to satisfy fans needs.

The 22-year-old would appear a similar signing to Arsenal’s very own Mesut Özil, however, Draxler has shown a greater aptitude for playing on the left meaning the Gunners would have two experts supplying assists as opposed to one. With an attacking trio of potentially Özil, Draxler, and Higuain, it could certainly be a great season for Arsenal next term.

Probable: Manchester United

It is common for Manchester United to be linked with any player who performs to a decent standard, but their interest in Julian Draxler seems to be a level above the norm reported by the media. With new manager Jose Mourinho getting off to a winning start, beating Wigan Athletic 2-0, it may seem reinforcements are not the main priority as gelling the current bunch of players becomes more vital.

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Yet, United are always willing to add talent to their ranks and Draxler certainly would join as the playmaker the Red Devils need since Juan Mata has failed to replicate his creative form with a series of sub-par performances under Louis Van Gaal.

A move for Draxler does seem unlikely though, with Mourinho opting to sign Henrik Mkhitaryan from Borussia Dortmund instead of the German.

Long shot: Real Madrid 

After being financially out-muscled in the race for Paul Pogba by Manchester United, Real Madrid have set their sights on other alternatives, with the main targets being Julian Draxler, Eden Hazard and Andre Gomes.

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The German would join compatriot Toni Kroos and replace the role that James Rodriguez was set to have in the starting XI as the playmaker, ahead of the pivot formed by Luka Modric and Kroos.

With 36 chances created last season, Draxler only made five assists, yet a move to Madrid; the holders of the Champions League, would surely improve his return with the world-class trio of Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale all more than capable of finishing their opportunities.

Draxler’s goal return; five last term would also be sure to improve with more game time coming from the centre of the pitch as opposed to the left wing.

Best option?

With the signing of Mhkitarayan at United, Mourinho seems happy ahead of next season that United are fully equipped in the ‘playmaking’ department, while their fourth key addition is likely to come in the form of Paul Pogba or Blaise Matuidi. Draxler may not be of use at United and the move, despite speculation, may not truly be on the cards.

With Zinedine Zidane’s most recent press conference being late on 18th July, the words the Frenchman used to described his squad suggested he was happy ahead of next season, while he also took the chance to downplay the club’s failed pursuit of Pogba. After the signing of Morata, Zidane may feel he has the perfect squad already assembled ahead of next season.

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That leaves Arsenal, with The Gunners probably Draxler’s best option if he was to leave Wolfsburg. With Wenger an admirer of creative talent, Draxler; at a potentially club record fee, would be certain to see game time and have a large stage to impress on – the Champions League – as he looks to become an integral player at international level. Linking up with Özil and Mertesacker may also appeal as Draxler’s compatriots would surely make settling in far easier.

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