Arsenal's reported interest in Julian Draxler, Schalke's impressive 20-year-old attacking midfielder, may throw up a deal that is too good to refuse for the Premier League leaders.
As reported by Jamie Sanderson of Metro, Draxler revealed his admiration for the Gunners after Germany's 1-0 friendly win over England, saying Arsene Wenger's team "play attractive football and that's what I like."
Moreover, former Premier League player and German-based agent Jan Aage Fjortoft recently suggested a deal could happen in the summer:
BREAKING NEWS! I understand Arsenal are big favourite to get Schalke's Wonderkid Julian Draxler. I understand Wenger talk to him often #afc— Jan Aage Fjortoft (@JanAageFjortoft) November 30, 2013
Re: Arsenal favourite to get Draxler - contract till 2018 - buy-out- clause: 45 mill Euro - valid every summer #AFC— Jan Aage Fjortoft (@JanAageFjortoft) November 30, 2013
Draxler's capture would strongly echo that of Mesut Ozil in terms of Arsenal's ambition for the future. His presence in the Gunners squad would take Wenger's creative midfield numbers to an almost gluttonous level, but it would require real self-restraint on the part of Wenger to turn him down.
With the addition of Draxler, the French coach would have a plethora of attacking-support options to aid Olivier Giroud's quest as resident lone wolf (something Nicklas Bendtner tried hard to disprove with his goal against Hull).
The likes of Ozil, Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla, Tomas Rosicky and Jack Wilshere are already dictating play behind the former Montpellier striker, meaning Wenger's inventive midfield options are stacked.
Considering Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Serge Gnabry can also play across the centre, Draxler's availability would conjure up a real head-and-heart dilemma for the veteran boss.
In his mind, Wenger is likely to prioritise other areas of improvement across his squad. Arsenal need to add at least one world-class striker and may need to source a new right-back if reports of Bacary Sagna's rumoured exit prove to be true, per Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail Online.
His brain should also focus on procuring extra support in defensive midfield—vital cover for Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini—perhaps in the shape of West Brom's Youssouf Mulumbu, as argued here.
And yet, in the very core of his chest, Wenger will know Draxler is too good to miss if he becomes the subject of a bidding war.
The young German's three goals and five assists across 18 appearances in this year's Bundesliga and Champions League are signs of the player's rapid maturity, per WhoScored.com.
His versatility ensures he can fill in any support role behind the striker, while he's also capable of cutting in from wide positions higher up the pitch.
Draxler is a physical specimen, the type of player who can use his powerful frame to enforce a turnover of possession. He is dominant in the air, possesses excellent vision and has a ridiculously powerful shot from long range. There are hints of Michael Ballack in his play.
Wenger's philosophy has always stressed the importance of developing youngsters. He is a loyal manager, the type of boss who will keep pushing his players into the ring until they discover knockout form, as we've seen with this season's emergence of Ramsey.
Should Arsenal break the bank to sign Julian Draxler?
If he was to get hold of Draxler within the next year, there's no doubt Wenger would be more than capable of harnessing the player's talents into an Arsenal mould that could be used as the blueprint for free-flowing football.
The reported €45 million buyout clause is expensive, especially as plenty of that would be spent buying potential, but that shouldn't deter the manager.
Although Wenger needs to address other areas of his squad with haste, snapping up Draxler while he is fresh and ready to develop is an opportunity that could define the club for years to come.