Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker has said that Schalke playmaker Julian Draxler would be welcome at the Emirates should the Gunners make a bid for the young German international, reports Stephan Uersfeld of ESPN via Spox.com.
MailOnline Sport added:
The German defender says that the whole of the Gunners squad would be happy to see the Schalke star arrive in the transfer window, after he was linked with a move to North London, per Uersfeld:
We already have a small German academy here. It’s a lot of fun that the German discipline and the special talent is valued here.
Players like him are welcomed here. Julian Draxler has a great influence on Schalke and the Germany team, despite his young age. But let’s wait and see what happens. A lot of players have been talked about in the past.
Arsenal see No1 target Julian Draxler as new RvP. It's a "little bit" difficult in January but here comes summer... http://t.co/JANUjpvMoO— John Cross (@johncrossmirror) January 15, 2014
Whilst Draxler would be a welcome addition to any team, he may not be the player to set Arsenal's strike-force on fire. Playing as a winger or an attacking midfielder, it would take time to nurture the German as the next RVP.
Despite being top of the league, what Arsenal have lacked this season is goals, with title rivals Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool all boasting of alternative striking options.
On Wednesday night, Jan. 15, City moved their goal tally to an incredible 99 for the season after the Blues turned on the second-half style against Blackburn in the FA Cup. In contrast, Arsenal have only managed 52 goals in all competitions, per Squawka stats.
Arsenal haven't had the option of rotating and ideally need another striker, not another attacking midfielder in the mould of Draxler. If Draxler were to come in, the question for manager Arsene Wenger would be whom he would replace.
With Aaron Ramsey set to come back from injury and playmakers Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla taking up the attacking midfield positions in the team, Draxler would be another alternative, not the goalscorer Arsenal are looking for.
Recent injuries to Theo Walcott and Nicklas Bendtner have left the Gunners light in attack, but with Olivier Giroud back from injury, Wenger warned that Arsenal do not need to buy, reported the Metro.
Bendtner is out until next month with an ankle injury, and winger Theo Walcott—who can play as a centre-forward—will miss the season after suffering a cruciate ligament injury against Tottenham.
However, Wenger doesn't seem sure of his position on whether to buy another forward or not. In the new year he admitted that Arsenal may need to buy, reported ESPN:
If it is a question of up to three weeks, okay, but if it is a question of months (then) the situation is quite (different), so that is what we have to determine. We don't rule anything out. If Bendtner is out for a long time, that is the obvious position. We (would) have to (buy). Honestly, you want to keep your chances in the season at the best possible level. Is it for short term or a stop-gap? Ideally, you want a longer solution, but a longer solution looks much more difficult to find in January than a short gap.
You can find a solution somewhere - a club that has financial trouble and wants to get rid of a big contract for five or six months, but to find in January exactly the player who will be tomorrow's star on the longer term is much more difficult.
With only Olivier Giroud as their main striker, boss Arsene Wenger may be tempted to splash the clash in January, but according to Dominic Fifield of The Guardian, Wenger has instructed Arsenal's scouting department to explore short-term signings.
Wenger may be put off on buying the German now and waiting until the summer after it was reported that Draxler was injured and wasn’t expected back until February, tweeted footballer turned pundit Jan Aage Fjortoft:
Draxler- update Today he has a medical-check in Munich by Dr.Müller-Wohlfahrt They will find out when he can play again.Expected:In 4 weeks— Jan Aage Fjortoft (@JanAageFjortoft) January 16, 2014
Meanwhile, respected German journalist Raphael Honigstein doesn’t believe Arsene Wenger will go for Draxler because of his price tag:
I'm just not sure AW will go for him again, at this slightly crazy prize. he pushed hard, once, for a lot less money - before Özil.— Raphael Honigstein (@honigstein) January 14, 2014
Schalke will want to keep their star asset with a Champions League Round 16 tie against Real Madrid coming up, in addition to their chase for fourth place, where they currently lie seventh, just four points off the Champions League places.
On Thursday, Jan. 16, Schalke sporting director Horst Heldt reiterated to Bild that currently “there is no offer” for Draxler, as reported by ESPN, while adding that he has “not heard that Julian wants to leave.”
This season Draxler has been in fine form in the Champions League but has struggled in the Bundesliga, Squawka stats show. Last season, the playmaker scored 10 goals in 30 league appearances, per Squawka.
Meanwhile, Mertesacker has rejoined Twitter since leaving in 2011. He wrote:
You asked for it ... BFG listened :) I will be back on twitter. Let's see if I can handle this one. More tonight. BFG— Per Mertesacker (@mertesacker) January 16, 2014
The German international has formed a formidable partnership with Frenchman Laurent Koscielny, which has helped Arsenal top the league.
The pair hasn't lost a game together when both players have completed 90 minutes together, a run stretching to 27 games.