Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker is hopeful that the Gunners can complete the signing of compatriot Julian Draxler before the close of the January transfer window.
The Gunners are reported to be preparing to make their move for Draxler, who has a release clause of £40 million written into his contract and have been provided with encouragement that Schalke would be prepared to do a deal.
Mertesacker is optimistic that that he can play alongside Draxler, a player who he rates highly indeed having played with him while on international duty.
According to Metro, he said:
He [Draxler] is a great talent.
He has already made a big impact at Schalke and in the German national team, despite his young age.
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He would be very welcome here.
I’m excited to see what happens. You hear a lot of rumours this time of year.
Wenger has reportedly identified Draxler as a potential signing following the long term injury suffered to Theo Walcott. However, any proposed move him could be scuppered after he suffered ruptured tendon which some reports claim will sideline him for as long as three months.
Draxler is almost entirely used in an advanced position wide on the left for Schalke. He is comfortable cutting in and linking up play with midfielders than he is beating his man on the outside and putting in crosses. His expert dribbling ability means he is more than capable of going past defenders.
His main strengths are his dribbling, his ability to play a killer pass and his powerful shot. He can score from inside and outside the box, although he perhaps doesn’t shoot as much as he should for someone with his talent. Although relatively lightweight, he is deceptively strong and wins his far share of aerial duels.
Despite showing these qualities, he is still a little way off being as effective as Europe’s top crop of attacking midfielders. However his current trajectory is promising and his impact on the game is one of the most impressive in recent history for his age.
The release clause looks a big one indeed but considering the talent he possesses it may be worth the investment. There is also a rumour that Wenger wants to do what he did to Van Persie and Thierry Henry by turning Draxler from a winger to a centre forward and if anyone can do that then it’s Le Prof himself. But he’s hardly the signing we are craving for right now.
Should we sign Draxler? Share your thoughts in the comments below.