Arsene Wenger's reticence to spend money has infuriated Arsenal fans.
Jeremy Wilson of the The Telegraph is reporting that the Arsenal boss is preparing to make a move for Schalke's highly-rated teenager Julian Draxler. If Wenger can pull this off, it would go a long way to restoring faith to the faithless.
For the record, Draxler himself has said that he wants to stay, per a report by Stefan Doring via Goal.com. Nevertheless, the same article features the German admitting his club could find it hard to resist an offer in the region of €40 million.
Talented Schalke youngster Julian Draxler admits that he will leave the club should Arsenal have a bid accepted for him. (Source: Goal)— Transfer News Live (@DeadlineDayLive) September 1, 2013
Draxler has been at Schalke since the age of eight and the club is likely to be very protective over him. However, he is one of the best young attacking midfielders in Europe and it's inevitable that he will attract interest from other leagues.
Wenger is well-known for preferring youngsters with huge potential, and Draxler fits that bill perfectly. He's a two-footed player who possesses remarkable patience for his age.
Rather than trying to force something out of nothing, he is content to play short passes to teammates and ensure possession remains with his team. When an opening is available, he seldom lets it pass him by.
His crossing is good and his link-up play is exceptional. He's a difference-maker in almost any lineup.
In July, the young midfielder told ITV that he would like to play in either England or Spain, which he then clarified further by saying, “I don't think any country but these two would make sense for me anyhow."
That narrows the market slightly, but of course clubs like Real Madrid and Barcelona remain in the picture, and they are never shy about spending money.
However, until a transfer is made the focus remains on Wenger as fans grow restless.
His reluctance to spend has infuriated fans to the point where they demand purchases almost for the sake of it. The talk of the £70 million available to spend is a favourite quote among detractors, along with Wenger's failure every year to sign players linked with Arsenal.
The possible return of Niklas Bendtner isn't going to quell the ire of fans, either.
Draxler can't come for nothing less than 30m . Arsenal won't even pay that .— Mr Hardy (@TzHardy) September 1, 2013
The problem with Draxler is that he carries more risk than most players commanding his price tag. He is the type of creative force who could make an instant impact, but is still just 19 and has never played in any league outside of Germany.
It may take him a couple of seasons to settle in at the Gunners.
Taking the plunge on an unproven player to the tune of €40 million isn't something that Wenger will do lightly.
However, he has to show the fans—and the rest of the league—that he is looking to the future. Making a meaningful bid for Draxler would do exactly that.