SCHALKE 04 & GERMANY
Rumoured to be a deadline day signing of Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal, Julian Draxler is one of the most up and coming talents from the Bundesliga. The Schalke player is making huge strides to cement his place in the starting XI and as a great of world football. At just 19 he is showing the world why he will be an outstanding player once he grows and develops.
Draxler was born and raised in Germany. He was born in Gladbeck, Germany on September 20th, 1993. He began his career at just 7 years old when he joined BV Rentfort. He quickly moved clubs and went to SSV Beur but this ended as a brief spell because Schalke came in for the youngster in 2001 when he was just 8 years old. He spent a long time in the youth setup of Schalke before making it to the first team.
Draxler first broke into the squad of Schalke in the Bundesliga on 15th January 2011 at just 18 years old in a loss versus Hamburger SV. Julian became the 4th youngest player in Bundesliga history when he came on in this game. He then started 1 week later against Hannover in which Schalke secured a 1-0 win. He became the 2nd youngest outfield player after Nuri Sahin to start a game in the Bundesliga. His first goal came for Schalke in the quarter finals of the DFB Pokal tournament against Nuremburg in which he scored in the dying moments of extra time to make it 3-2 to Schalke and to send him and his teammates through to the semis. Schalke went onto win the DFB Pokal with a win over MSV Duisburg in the final, Draxler scoring the opening goal with a volley from outside the penalty box. This was his first major honour at the German club. Draxler’s first Bundesliga goal came against St Pauli on 1st April 2011. The following season, Draxler played a very important part in Schalke’s Champions League qualification appearing in 30 of 34 league games.
His international career kicked off on August 9th 2011 when he scored his debut goal for Germany U21’s as they beat Cyprus 4-1 in a qualifier for the 2013 European Championships. Draxler was called up to the provisional squad on May 7th 2012. He then got his first call up to the Germany senior team when he featured in Germany’s shock 5-3 loss to Switzerland. He replaced Arsenal’s Lukas Podolski. Julian came ever so close to getring his first goal for the German national side but was denied through a deflection. His first goal came against the USA in the 81st minute on the 2nd June 2013. He brought the score to 3-4, in a game which Germany eventually lost.
STYLE, STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES
Draxler is 6 foot 2 inches tall but he isn’t the target man style of player. He has sheer pace with superb ball control, he also possesses great dribbling technique. Draxler can also strike a ball with accuaracy and can cross a ball as well which gives him quite an all round game apart from aerial ability in which he lacks which is weird as he is a fairly tall person.
He is capable of playing anywhere across the midfield, whether out wide or through the middle he can adapt his play to suit his position on the pitch. When Holtby was at Schalke, he was deployed out wide which made him change his style to suit his position but now that Holtby has left, Schalke deploy him more centrally which is his natural position. He can provide a lot of passes and chances for his teammates which could end up in assists building up. Not only can he pass but he can score goals as well.
As said just before, Draxler can score goals. He made 30 appearances last season and scored 10 from a midfield position which shows he can take his chances. Below is a chart taken from Squawka.com and this shows he can score from various places around the box with a few long range shots flying in as well. One look at the below graphic and you can see why shooting is one of his more positive attributes.
Draxler managed to create 45 chances for Schalke last season, which shows that he as an eye for a pass and has the creative spark to give a teammate a chance at goal. 66.7% of these chances came from the centre of the opponents half which shows that he is most effective through the middle but with 33.3% of chance coming from out wide, showing that he is able to mold into positions. Not only can he create chances but his pass accuracy is also brilliant with a percentage of 82%. He made 687 successful passes last season compared to 152 which were unsuccessful.
Despite his numerous strengths, Draxler struggles with his aerial ability. He scored 10 goals last season but not one of them came from a header. This graph shows us where most of his goals came from:
Chart via from squawka.com
This chart shows us that he scored all 10 of his goals with his feet, 3 coming from his left and 7 coming from his right. Not one goal was used with his head and this is why this is presented as a weakness of his. If he improves his aerial ability, he could become a better all round player. With is the height of 6 foot 2, there is no reason why he cannot use his height and improve his aerial ability.
Schalke have said they will not sell Julian Draxler despite clubs being interested. The club’s arch rivals Borussia Dortmund made an approach for the youngster but Schalke turned it down not wanting to lose their player. Draxler caused a stir though saying he would be a perfect fit to Dortmund’s midfield. “In sporting terms, I would definitely have fit into the Dortmund team,” he said in an interview with Sport1.
Interest floods in for him despite him sealing a deal which will keep him at Schalke until 2018.
In the final days of the summer transfer market, Arsenal have became interested in the youngster. With the arrival of Kevin Prince Boateng to Schalke, it could mean Draxler will be leaving but it is unlikely after his new contract signing. Draxler rejected a move to Real Madrid not so long ago so Arsenal will have to submit a superb offer to take him away from Schalke’s grasp. If Arsenal were to bid, to bid successfully they will have to offer £40-60m for him.
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