Who Is Better: Julian Draxler or Marco Reus?

Stefan Bienkowski@@SbienkowskiFeatured ColumnistMarch 24, 2014

Associated Press

On Tuesday night Borussia Dortmund welcome none other than their bitter rivals Schalke to the Westfalenstadion in what will undoubtedly be a Ruhr derby that will go some way to distinguishing which of these two sides finishes second in the Bundesliga this season. 

A whole host of talent will be on show as these two giants of German football clash in one of the tightest games throughout the current campaign.

Yet two players in particular stand out for each team as the beacon of hope for either set of fans. 

For Dortmund, we have the prodigal son who left, made his name at Borussia Moenchengladbach, only to return as one of the best in the world: Marco Reus. Meanwhile, Schalke will clearly look towards their own boy-wonder in the making, Julian Draxler. 

But which of these two bright German talents is the better and who offers the best chance of winning on the night?

Frank Augstein/Associated Press

Although Dortmund and Schalke are far from equal on the football pitch, with Jurgen Klopp's side costing a lot more and achieving incomparable feats to their rivals, the two teams have essentially been on an equal footing for much of the season.

Therefore we can in a sense compare the stats of both players in the league throughout this current campaign. 

As such, when we do compare Draxler and Reus' records in the German top division this season, we can draw a fairly safe conclusion in terms of who has had the more impressive year. 

In 22 Bundesliga games, Reus has amassed a very impressive nine goals and nine assists, according to Transfermarkt.co.uk, giving him a minutes-per-goal ratio of 170 minutes.

The same website here states that Draxler on the other hand has only managed one goal and seven assists in 19 games, which gives him a rather worrying ratio of one goal per 1,528 minutes in the Bundesliga this season. 

This is down to a number of things. The most important is, of course, that Draxler is actually being played out of position most weeks on the left-hand side of Schalke's attack.

The young attacking midfielder is a natural No. 10, and when given time there, he can thrive and score goals, as we saw last season with his return of 10 goals in 30 games, again via Transfermarkt.co.uk.

When we turn to the Champions League, a competition that both teams take just as seriously but struggle to exert their dominance in with the same impression, we see a similar situation between these two players. 

Dortmund have had a tricky run in Europe's premier competition this year, with defeats to Napoli, Arsenal and Zenit St Petersburg, yet Reus has scored three goals in his seven appearances and added five assists in the same period.

That essentially means the forward has produced 10 goals from just seven games in the toughest competition in world football.

Yet Draxler's own performance in the competition have been somewhat admirable in comparison to his own side's pitiful run of results that eventually saw Schalke crash out of the tournament to an aggregate score of 9-2 against Real Madrid

Although his side only won three of their eight games in Europe this season, Draxler managed to round up his own tally to three goals in seven of those matches, whilst also picking up a solitary assist. Not quite the same standard as Reus, but we can forgive him for playing in a team that looked hopeless in such a competition. 

Yet there is, of course, another factor, aside from Schalke's overall deficiencies as a functioning team, that keeps Draxler from reaching Reus' level at this moment in time. This is, of course, the four years of experience between both of these players. 

Dortmund's high-flying winger may be the talk of the town right now and undoubtedly one of Europe's most promising players ahead of this summer's World Cup, but four years ago he was a very different player. 

At 20 years old, Reus was only just breaking on to the Bundesliga scene with 'Gladbach in his debut season during the 2009/10 campaign. That year he scored eight goals and created four assists in 33 games, a record that looks almost identical to the kind of form that Draxler is currently going through. 

In fact, Reus made his debut for the German national team that very season at the age of 19, the very same age that Draxler made his first appearance for Die Mannschaft back in 2012. The parallels between these two stars are almost identical. 

In a sense, it may seem like quite the cop-out or a reasonable exercise in compromising on the topic, but the facts simply state that Reus is a far better player than Draxler at the moment. Yet the young Schalke forward shows all the potential we saw in the Dortmund star at that age. 

Although a number of external factors will always affect how each player develops throughout the next few years, we can be sure that both show the promise to become world-beaters in the Bundesliga and abroad.

Maybe then, when each has won titles and reached his peak in the sport, we can fairly and finally chose between them both.