Arsenal are once again being linked with Julian Draxler but is he good enough to take Alexis Sanchez’s place?
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: Arsenal are interested in Julian Draxler. This is a rumor we have heard for years, but, obviously, nothing has ever come of it. Draxler is still only 24, but he made the move from Wolfsburg to Paris St. Germain in January despite interest from the Gunners.
If you’re one to toss around big money on football matches, you know that Draxler’s presence isn’t exactly crucial for PSG’s success. The French giants are going to storm their way to a Ligue 1 title this season whether he’s there or not. While the player has gone on the record to say that he has not thought about leaving Paris, a potential move would make sense for all parties.
Despite signing a four-year deal to join PSG from the Bundesliga this past winter, Draxler has already fallen out of favor with his French club. Draxler spent time up front during the second half of last season, but with the acquisitions of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, the forward has been forced to moonlight as a midfielder early on this season.
Draxler has performed admirably, as he has contributed two goals with three assists in eight starts despite playing out of his natural position. Still, he has managed to play the full 90 minutes in just half of his starts, which seems to indicate that he still has much to learn about playing in the midfield.
Rather than forcing him into the starting XI outside of his natural position, it would make sense for PSG to find a taker for the talented young German. Obviously, Arsenal would be a natural solution. The Gunners are facing some uncertainty of their own with both Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil seeing their contracts expiring next summer.
Neither player has made much progress on a new deal to stay with Arsenal, so it seems very possible that neither will remain in London in the long term. With Sanchez potentially leaving as soon as January, the club should be actively searching for a suitable replacement.
Draxler checks all the boxes. He would be able to replace Sanchez playing out wide along the front line rather than toiling away in midfield. It also doesn’t hurt that Draxler is a full four years younger than the Chilean, which means his addition would help to solidify Arsenal’s core for the years to come.
L’Equipe in France reported that Arsenal and PSG have already initiated discussions on a loan deal for Draxler. One big hurdle, of course, will be convincing Draxler to leave France. The player is hesitant to leave Paris so soon after arriving, but his development will likely be slowed a bit thanks to the temporary position switch.
Given the opportunity to play up front with the Gunners and get a fresh start, a move to Arsenal would make all the sense in the world on both sides of the equation.