World Football

Julian Draxler Injury Should Not Derail Arsenal Transfer Bid

Julian Draxler in action for Schalke.
Julian Draxler in action for Schalke.Lars Baron/Getty Images
Michael WadeAnalyst IIIJanuary 16, 2014

Arsenal are set to continue in their bid to sign Schalke's Julian Draxler, despite the player suffering an injury.

Sami Mokbel and John Edwards report in the Daily Mail that Draxler is going to have surgery on a ruptured tendon that will keep him sidelined until March.

That news doesn't worry Arsenal, though, who think Draxler has a lot of potential:

Arsenal are ready to splash out on the German wonderkid whom they believe can be the next Robin van Persie and the injury concerns are not a concern.

They are prepared to meet the release clause for Draxler, 20, who has been identified as a priority target for the Gunners after an intensive scouting drive.

Arsene Wenger’s staff believe Draxler, who plays as an attacking midfielder for Schalke, has the attributes to play as a lone centre forward.

Arsenal think Draxler has similar qualities to those of van Persie and Thierry Henry, who arrived in north London as wingers but became prolific goalscorers.

Although he wouldn't be able to play much part, if any, this campaign, completing the signing of Draxler would prove a shrewd move from Wenger.

At just 20 years old, Draxler already has a wealth of experience behind him, having made over 100 appearances for Schalke and 10 for the Germany national side.

Mesut Ozil has starred for Arsenal since joining in the summer.
Mesut Ozil has starred for Arsenal since joining in the summer.Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Although the reported fee of £37 million is steep, Wenger has come to realise he has to pay the going rate for top stars if he wants to challenge for honours, and the success Arsenal have enjoyed since shelling out for Mesut Ozil this summer will have encouraged him.

Draxler has been linked with Real Madrid and Manchester City in the past, per Charles Perrin in the Express, and if he continues his rapid development it is only a matter of time before other top sides attempt to sign him and drive up the price and turn his head away from Arsenal.

German football expert Clark Whitney disagrees, though, and says a move would be best done in the summer:

Currently, Arsenal lead the chase for the attacking midfielder and must capitalise on the chance they have to sign up one of Europe's top talents.

With fellow Germans Lukas Podolski, Mesut Ozil, Per Mertesacker and Serge Gnabry already in their ranks there is little doubt that Draxler would be welcomed with open arms at the Emirates.

His fleet-footed attacking style would also fit in perfectly alongside the likes of Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey and Ozil who have fired the Gunners to the top of the Premier League already this season.

He is viewed by Wenger as a player with the potential to become a main striker who can lead the line and take some of the heat off Olivier Giroud in time.

Arsenal hope to turn Julian Draxler into a striker who could provide competition for Olivier Giroud.
Arsenal hope to turn Julian Draxler into a striker who could provide competition for Olivier Giroud.Michael Regan/Getty Images

But if that is to be the case he will have to spend extra time on the training pitch to continue improving his finishing as his goals ratio doesn't stand up to scrutiny at the moment.

That may be because he has been employed as an attacking midfielder more than a striker, but his highest tally, 11 last season, via Soccerbase, is promising.

Ozil proved to be one of the buys of the summer when Wenger snapped him up from Real Madrid. If Arsenal sign Draxler, they could have an even bigger talent on their hands.

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