Arsenal have agreed a fee with Schalke for German attacking midfielder Julian Draxler, according to several reliable reports in Europe tonight.
Draxler will still have to agree personal terms, and there’s no indication yet that even if a deal is agreed whether the player will join in this transfer window or the summer, but the report is encouraging news for Arsenal supporters.
Twenty year-old German starlet Julian Draxler is one of the most sought after youngsters in Europe. The player who first joined Schalke at the age of eight has impressed with his performances playing largely in wide areas for the club.
Draxler was just named to the list of the ten most promising young players in Europe by The Guardian and potentially gives the Gunners a completely new element with his direct style. The pacy midfielder can be deployed on the left wing or right behind the striker. With Theo Walcott out for the season, Arsenal’s ability to counter-attack was potentially being limited.
The direct style of Draxler compliments the more fluid passing game that Arsenal generally play. He can help Arsenal with its rotation and late game scoring needs even if he does not start right away. Draxler is cup-tied in Europe and is currently not playing due to an ankle tendon injury. He should be able to resume full training by mid-February.
Yesterday Schalke Manager Jen Keller told Bild that the time was not right for Draxler to move abroad:
“Julian is only 20 years old and has all the time in the world to go abroad .In order to succeed in another league, you need a strong personality. Plus it’s not like he’s earning peanuts here at Schalke.”
If Draxler does join Arsenal, it could open the door for Lewis Holtby who has been on the fringes of the Tottenham squad since the sacking of Andre Vilas-Boas to return to Schalke.
UPDATE: In his post-match press conference on BT Sport, Arsene Wenger didn’t deny that Arsenal were trying to sign Julian Draxler. However, Arsenal FC have posted a tweet on their official social media account quoting Wenger as saying “There is nothing happening. That [the Draxler rumor] is an illusion.” Why he didn’t say something like that, i.e. more definitive, in his post-match conference, I don’t know. Having said that, Arsene Wenger has been known to deny stories of transfers being done, only for them to come true later.