Julian Draxler has revealed that Arsenal were in constant contact with him for 2-3 years before his move to Paris-Saint Germain last month. Will the Gunners come to regret not signing the German when they had the chance?
According to TF’1 Telefoot, the German international admitted that Arsenal had a long-standing interest in signing him but never actually made an approach. Draxler opened up to the French outlet about his reasons behind leaving Wolfsburg, but also revealed that Arsenal did not get in touch with him this winter, when it was clear he would leave the German club.
“I had some good years in Germany but I wanted to experience something different,” Draxler said, according to Telefoot. “For that reason, I chose to join PSG. The directors and coach at Wolfsburg have changed. I was on good terms with them and we decided it was best if I left. I listened to my heart and chose PSG as they play in a style that suits me best.”
“I had several options though. Arsenal had been in contact since about two or three years ago but I was not in touch with them this winter [before joining PSG]. I am proud to be here and I hope to bring something to the team. I have won two or three titles so far in my career but that is not enough, I always want more. This is the club I needed in order to achieve that.”
Draxler had big issues behind the scenes at Wolfsburg and was even booed by fans when he played for the club towards the end of his time there. His comments in the summer made it clear he no longer wanted to stay at Wolfsburg, however the club insisted on keeping the player.
When it became clear keeping Draxler was detrimental to the club, Wolfsburg made him available for a transfer and Paris Saint-Germain wasted no time in snapping up the highly-rated 23-year old in a £34.5 million deal.
It seemed like a perfect opportunity for any interested clubs to sign the German, given Wolfsburg were not going to demand an exorbitant price as a result of the situation surrounding his exit and PSG quickly swooped to take advantage of the situation.
The German international has hit the ground running in the French capital, scoring 4 goals and picking up 1 assist in just 6 appearances with the French champions. Draxler, who also admitted he wanted the No. 10 role, has been a revelation on the left for PSG, and it appears he is well on his way to proving he was worth the fee.
Arsenal were constantly linked with Draxler even while the German was still at Schalke, but if Draxler is to be believed, they never made an attempt. Draxler would have no doubt been a great addition to Arsene Wenger’s side and could have formed a great partnership with Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil – who Draxler now wants to join him in France.
Draxler may just get his wish as Ozil is yet to sign a new contract with the Gunners. Signing Draxler might have helped convince the Arsenal midfielder to extend his stay at the Emirates, especially considering the reports that Ozil had asked Arsenal to sign his compatriot as a part of his contract negotiations.
Whether or not those reports were true, it would definitely have increased Arsenal’s chances of convincing Ozil to sign a new contract, as it would have been a good indicator of their ambition and the fact that it is clear Draxler and Ozil are good friends off the pitch.
Alexis Sanchez may also have been encouraged to sign a new contract as it is clear both players are seeking reassurances over the Gunners’ ability to challenge for major honours and it seems like this is the main reason they have not extended their stay as yet.
Draxler would also have been a great addition simply because of his ability. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been far too inconsistent when played on the wing and never seems to be able to get a good run of games without suffering an injury.
Theo Walcott is an almost identical case to his compatriot. After starting the season in blistering fashion Walcott has now scored only 3 goals in 7 games in the League and has constantly been in and out of the side thanks to injuries – something which has been the case for a few seasons now.
Draxler has also been accused of inconsistency, but at just 23 years of age has plenty of time to be moulded into one of the top players in the world – especially if Arsene Wenger was the one guiding him along the way.
The German is a much more talented player than both Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain, and a frontline consisting of Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Julian Draxler would have been one to fear.
Add a prolific striker to the mix – such as Alexandre Lacazette, who has admitted he will leave Lyon in the summer – and Arsenal would truly have struck fear into their opposition.
For all of Arsene Wenger’s faith in his players – something that is no doubt laudable – there are many players who can definitely be improved upon. Draxler would have been the perfect improvement on at least two of those players and Arsenal could well regret not signing the German international when they had the chance.