Schalke playmaker Julian Draxler has indicated he would find it tough to turn down a ‘dream’ move to Manchester United or Chelsea despite signing a recent long term deal.
The 19-year-old penned a new deal last month, contracting him to the Gelsenkirchen outfit until 2018, amid reported interest from Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich who are firm favourites to win the Bundesliga at short odds of 1.2 with Unibet.
But he admits that it would be hard to turn down a move to United in the future if it were to happen.
“Which boy doesn’t dream about playing for Real, Barca, Chelsea or Manchester United? There’s nothing to be ashamed of,” Draxler told Sport1.
The midfielder has a €43.5 million release clause inserted into his contract and is unlikely to leave the club despite rumours of an impending exit according to Schalke’s general manager.
“I have heard nothing about it,” Heldt told Bild. “There has been no official transfer enquiry from Chelsea FC incoming and we also are not in touch with that club.
“Still, it is a fact there are always clubs considering the qualities of players like Julian Draxler, of course.”
Draxler’s versatitlity could be a huge plus for United with the talented German able to play on the left, right and through the middle where he has flourished this season.
The 19-year-old would be in keeping with a transfer policy of recruiting younger players, something which David Moyes looks to be keen to continue with the club allegedly interested in Thiago Alcantara and Luke Shaw as well as completing a deal for Guillermo Varela yesterday.
To find out a little bit more about Draxler, I grabbed a word with freelance writer Lucas (@BundesligaLucas) to pick his brains over the German prodigy.
Could this past season be described as a ‘breakthrough’ campaign for Draxler?
You could say so, yes. Draxler had his first real season in the first team last year but it was mainly on the left in a 4-4-2 formation and that’s not his preferred position.
In the latter half of this season, after the departure of Holtby, he was able to slot into the number ten role that Holtby occupied in a 4-2-3-1 and it allowed Draxler to flourish and really become the player he can be.
His statistics certainly make for impressive viewing, especially considering his age. Potentially, how good could Draxler become?
Draxler is seen as the next German prodigy
Draxler is seen as the next German prodigy. Throughout the last few years it’s been Podolski, Ozil and Gotze – as you can see it’s a prestigious list – but most, including myself, are predicting a very bright future for him, potentially to a world-class level but a move away from Gelsenkirchen is likely to be needed to maximise potential.
In terms of playing style, who would you liken him to?
Well, Borussia Dortmund’s first option as a direct replacement for Gotze was Draxler. Just days after the announcement of his release clause being met by Bayern, Dortmund registered their interest in Draxler. There’s your evidence for who he’s likened to.
What are his best assets, and what areas of his game does he need to work on?
To say Draxler has any notable weaknesses would be a lie. There isn’t anything he’s not great at that is required of him.
To say Draxler has any notable weaknesses would be a lie. There isn’t anything he’s not great at that is required of him. His crossing isn’t the best but it isn’t something that’s hugely needed. As for his strengths, there are many but Draxler is probably best at dribbling with the ball and his long shots. His ability on the ball is as good as someone well beyond his years of experience and he’s scored some lovely long-range goals this season.
Do you see him fitting in at a club like United given the difficulties former Bundesliga midfielders Marko Marin and to a lesser extent Shinji Kagawa have experienced in their first seasons in England?
Could he be good for United? Yes. Are there better potential clubs out there for him? Yes.
I wasn’t shocked to see Marin struggle in England. In his early years at Bremen he carried much promise and he was fulfilling it but towards the end of his stay with the club his performances were dropping, so it wasn’t looking promising for him ahead of his move to Chelsea.
As for Kagawa in Manchester, I don’t believe he’s underperforming. Before his injury Kagawa was performing to a good standard, not to mention some of them were coming from left midfield. United haven’t brought the best out of Kagawa, there’s more to come. For Draxler to fit in at Manchester United, it’s similar to Kagawa.
Manchester United’s play isn’t as heavily influenced by transitions like Schalke and Borussia Dortmund, and I can’t see Moyes implementing a similar system either. Could he be good for United? Yes. Are there better potential clubs out there for him? Yes.
Finally, with Schalke securing a Champions League spot, and Draxler contracted to the club until 2018, how likely is a transfer this summer?
I can’t see Man United wanting to activate his €45.5 million release clause and even then I wouldn’t see his move as a formality.
In a word, no. I can’t see Man United wanting to activate his €45.5 million release clause and even then I wouldn’t see his move as a formality. Draxler loves Schalke, it’s clear to see after saying he’d have to be brainwashed to join Borussia Dortmund. I can’t see him moving anywhere soon just yet.