Arsenal

Arsenal Transfer News: Julian Draxler Must Turn Back on Schalke to Join Gunners

If Julian Draxler wants to prove he's the best, he should join Arsenal now.
If Julian Draxler wants to prove he's the best, he should join Arsenal now.Frank Augstein/Associated Press
Jason PettigroveContributor IJanuary 23, 2014

Julian Draxler is a man in demand and with the transfer window slowly winding to a close, he doesn't have long left to make his mind up concerning a move away from the Bundesliga...or not. 

Premier League leaders Arsenal are interested in signing the player from Schalke (per Metro), but the Germans are in no rush to let him leave.

According to Sport Bild (h/t Goal.com), Schalke CEO Clemens Tonnies has urged the player to stay:

I am of the opinion that Julian should play for Schalke next season. That's my personal advice to him

He should not let the interest from abroad play with his head. It's best for his development when he can play without much pressure and with a clear mind.

Looking back, at the start of the season he was under a lot of pressure then and the exact same thing will happen again if he moves. 

There are a number of big clubs after him, but we have no intention of selling him this winter. Even if we do not qualify for next year's Champions League, that doesn't mean we will have to sell Julian.

Tonnies' stance is admirable. Why would you want to lose one of your best players at a crucial stage of the season?

However, to keep Draxler, potentially against his will, in a struggling Schalke side, would hinder rather than help his progression and development.

The German club have stuttered through this campaign, winning just eight of their 17 Bundesliga games so far.

Currently a reasonable seventh place (per bundesliga.com), Schalke's league form has been patchy at best (whoscored.com), and they also entertain Real Madrid in the Champions League.

Should Schalke lose as expected against Real, then a race for a place in next season's competition via league placing becomes an absolute priority.

Whilst Tonnies talks about a lack of pressure, there will certainly be a fair amount laid at Draxler's door should Schalke's Champions League qualification hopes hang by a thread towards the business end of this season. 

Arsenal by contrast are a team in fine fettle. Still sitting pretty at the top of the EPL (per PremierLeague.com), Draxler has the ability to slot right into the side, probably in the area vacated by the injured Theo Walcott.

Draxler has the right mix of skill to enjoy a seamless transition into a Gunners side brimming with confidence and to take any "pressure" completely in his stride.

Given their lofty perch at this point of the season, it's highly unlikely Arsenal will fade to such an extent as to fall out of Champions League contention completely for next season—and Julian Draxler is a player that needs to be playing football at the very highest level.

Richard Beech of the Daily Mirror noted that the player could even be as important for Arsenal as Lionel Messi is to Barcelona:

A player of Julian Draxler’s ability simply can’t go a year without European football; it would be a disaster for his development and for his footballing career.

Schalke face a clear dilemma, they either qualify for the Champions League this season and once again offer Draxler the chance to display and develop his ability on Europe’s biggest stage, or they fail to qualify, and they almost certainly lose him.

This dilemma is compounded by the World Cup in Brazil this summer, during which Draxler will likely put his talents on display to almost every manager, scout and club in the world, as part of a Germany team who are among the favourites to win the competition.

Arsene Wenger shouldn't baulk at or attempt to haggle and lower the player's £35 million release clause. Draxler is available and the Gunners are in the box seat for his signature.

Draxler himself has the world at his feet already, and if he genuinely believes he can mix it with the best, then now is the time to prove it.

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