COMMENTARY | Reports surfaced earlier today that Arsenal have offered around $33 million, plus forward Lukas Podolski to German club Schalke, for 20-year-old wonder kid Julian Draxler. The Metro suggests that Podolski has fallen down in manager Arsene Wenger's pecking order at the club and will be used as bait to try and pry Draxler away from the German club.
Draxler, a fellow Germany international teammate of Podolski's, has a very promising future and is widely considered one of the hottest prospects in Europe. While Arsenal would benefit from obtaining Draxler's services, a move in which the Gunners give up Podolski during the January transfer period seems a bit odd.
Arsenal is already in need of an additional striker, even with Podolski at the club. Current number one striker choice, Olivier Giroud, has already featured in 29 out of the 33 total matches for the Gunners so far this season and could use a break here and there.
Some reports have suggested that Wenger will convert Draxler into a striker if he were to make the switch to the north London club. Wenger famously helped convert both Thierry Henry and Robin van Persie into strikers from their previous roles as a left winger (Draxler currently plays many games as a left winger for Schalke).
While having Draxler as a forward would appear to be a straight swap for Podolski, Draxler is currently "cup-tied" because he has featured for Schalke in Champions League matches this season. Therefor the young German would not be able to play during Arsenal's crucial two legged Champions League tie against Bayern Munich.
The Daily Mail has quoted a Schalke official on the rumors of Draxler leaving the club during this month's transfer market. The official stated, 'It is nonsense to suggest we might consider selling him this winter. It will not happen." Not only does it appear that Schalke does not want to sell their budding superstar just yet, but Podolski is a fan favorite and having him depart the Emirates mid-season could upset the team's dressing room.
Nonetheless, a move by Wenger and the rest of the Arsenal brass for Draxler during the summer transfer market seems to make more sense. Current striking backup to Giroud, Nicklas Bendtner, has his contract up in June and the Gunners are going to have to make some big decisions on the club's future striking options.
Christopher Moore has been following Arsenal Football Club for over 10 years.
- Sports & Recreation
- Lukas Podolski
- Julian Draxler
- Arsene Wenger