On Christmas Eve, French club Paris Saint-Germain announced that they were in the efforts of completing a deal that would send Wolfsburg midfielder Julian Draxler to the French capital. Earlier this morning, that deal came to life. The club confirmed the signing of the German midfielder through 2021 on a rumored €45 million fee ($47 million).
Julian Draxler is noted for his powerful shot and ability to change the pace on the field in quick fashion. The 23-year-old stands at 6 foot 2 inches and is ambidextrous. A natural attacking mid, he can also be deployed on the left or right wings. He was brought up in FC Schalke 04 where he played in their youth development academy. Draxler later joined the professional Schalke squad in 2011. He scored 30 goals in 170 appearances before transferring to Wolfsburg in 2015. At Wolfsburg, he scored 8 goals in 45 appearances.
This past season, Draxler faced a heavy wave of criticism over his attitude at the club. It was rumored that he sought a transfer during the summer transfer window and thus wanted out of the club. He played in 14 of Wolfsburg’s 16 games in the current Bundesliga season. His final contribution to the club was an assist on Mario Gomez’s goal to put the Volkswagen-owned club in the lead and eventually claim victory in a 2-1 win over Borussia Monchengladbach in their final fixture of 2016.
Other destinations that were rumored to have been in the hunt for Julian Draxler included Arsenal in the Barclays Premiere League. As you may recall, Arsenal lost English midfielder Jack Wilshere to a transfer to fellow English club AFC Bournemouth before the start of this season. Draxler was likely targeted as a replacement for Wilshere.
Internationally, Draxler has appeared in 27 games for the Germany national team and has scored 3 goals. He has represented Germany internationally since 2012 and was part of the 2014 roster for Germany that won the World Cup in Brazil.
As for PSG, they were certainly looking to replace their talent that they had lost this past season. The club lost their franchise player Zlatan Ibrahimović to Manchester United. They were likely looking to replace the striker but had to settle for Draxler, a midfielder instead. Paris Saint-Germain already has a midfielder with star power and depth with Ángel Di María, Javier Pastore, and young Italian Marco Verratti. They still have Edinson Cavani, a clinical finisher, at striker along with Hatem Ben Arfa and Jesé, who was acquired this season. Things are already looking like the club is transitioning to play more of a false 9 or giving Edinson Cavani more room up front.
Now with the talented Julian Draxler, there is a possibility that he could transition more to a winger than an attacking midfielder to strengthen the club’s depth in forwards.