As one of the fastest-rising prospects in Germany's thriving factory line of young talent, it's no surprise that Julian Draxler's potential acquisition is causing such a stir at Arsenal.
This month has seen talk of the Schalke prodigy's speculated move to North London head into overdrive, with The Mirror's John Cross reporting that a €30 million bid has already been submitted for his services.
However, Arsene Wenger has moved to simmer down such talk, and the manager is right to state that the transfer isn't a realistic one at present, mainly due to the fact that it's difficult to see where Draxler fits in.
Speaking to Sky Sports on Friday (Jan. 24), Wenger dismissed rumours of the 20-year-old's purchase, describing it as "an illusion" that any deal will be completed in January:
"That is an illusion. There is nothing happening, honestly no. We don't need to take players on the flanks - we have 17 players on the flanks."
The comments were made in the wake of the Gunners' 4-0 drubbing of Coventry City in the fourth round of the FA Cup. The result showed once again that, despite the injuries Arsenal are currently dealing with, the squad is capable of fending for itself on numerous fronts.
As Wenger mentions, the Miners' wunderkind would be coming into a flooded area of the side's roster. As things stand, the boss is having to accommodate a long line of players in attacking midfield and out wide, including Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla, Lukas Podolski, Tomas Rosicky, Serge Gnabry as well as the soon-to-be-fit Aaron Ramsey and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Creative players have always been something of a forte for Wenger, and Draxler, while undoubtedly being a terrific coup for the team, would find his competition tough at the moment.
This is, after all, a line-up that's succeeded so far in firing the North Londoners to the summit of the English top flight. Arsenal are by no means enduring a drought such as Manchester United are, with the signing of Juan Mata providing the Red Devils with a much-needed boost in an area they're lacking, per the Daily Mail's Nik Simon.
Instead, a January move would seem like Arsenal were merely snatching at the player now in order to prevent others from raising interest in the summer, a financial tactic that's never been Arsenal's prerogative.
Agence France-Presse's Ryland James sheds a little more light on the cost of any deal:
Draxler is currently coping with injury and so would be a risk as things stand anyway. Wenger is known not to be a fan of the winter transfer window, and losing out as a result of a gamble they could have avoided would only heat the manager's disdain for midseason business.
This term, Draxler has had to accommodate squadmate Max Meyer, shifting out onto the left wing. As the London Evening Standard's Joe Krishnan reports, it's playing through the middle that the youngster would much prefer.
But then, if displacing Meyer has proven a struggle, what chances are there that Ozil, Wenger's £42 million jewel, will be any easier to shift? It's been suggested that the creative maestro could perform a Robin van Persie-esque transformation into a centre-forward, but that requires time and effort that Arsenal can't afford to splurge on right now.
Instead, a summer transfer would seem by far the savviest option for the English giants. Not signing Draxler now would by no means bring any positives to the club, admittedly, but pointless expenditures aren't exactly something Wenger has become known for during his tenure.
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