Three reasons Man United should sign Julian Draxler
Ned Bristow gives three reasons why Manchester United should sign Julian Draxler this summer
1) Balancing the wings
Schalke man Julian Draxler has re-emerged as a transfer target for Manchester United, and it seems that the man they shunned in favour of pursuing Thomas Müller could have been their ideal man all along. With pace and a willingness to run at defenders, the German would work flawlessly in tandem with fellow winger Memphis Depay as United look to balance out their attacking unit. Like Depay, Draxler can play anywhere across the three attacking midfield positions, and would mirror his fellow 21-year-old’s enthusiasm on the ball. Depay has slotted straight into the United lineup, which will be encouraging to Draxler who would be eager to continue his development with regular game time; the 6ft 2ins winger has been a regular for Schalke in the Bundesliga since making his debut early in 2011 aged just 17 years old. His youthfulness and potential make him a player Schalke would be reluctant to let go; they rejected a €15m bid from Juventus earlier this summer and will be looking for around £25m for their man this late in the transfer window.
Many have pointed out United’s lack of pace in attack as a reason for their stuttering start, and have scored just two goals in their three fixtures thus far. If Wayne Rooney can carry his mid-week Champions League hat-trick into the Premier League, United will have a chance at recovering some of the firepower they need to make them title contenders after two underwhelming seasons, but the side also need to create more chances if they are to add to their measly goal tally. With no players in the top five chance creators so far in 2015/16, United are in desperate need of a new outlet – particularly one who could provide the pace needed to sharply turn defence into attack and hurt vulnerable teams on the break. Draxler contributes this skillset to Schalke, and his pace would work well with that of Depay to keep opponents guessing as to where the next attack is coming from. This, coupled with Mata’s expert passing and Rooney’s intelligence in leading the line, is exactly what United need and make Draxler perhaps even more of an ideal target than the proven Thomas Müller.
3) Youthful enthusiasm
Outside of the starting lineup, it is difficult to pinpoint a refreshing attacking change besides Ander Herrera. This is no doubt a factor behind United’s lack of gusto in attack, and will certainly pose further problems with fitness and as the season develops. With Draxler among his ranks, Old Trafford boss Louis van Gaal would have an extra outlet with a less conservative, experienced outlook than Ashley Young or Antonio Valencia. Though excellent players with consistent deliveries and a solid work rate, neither would take on players in the same manner or with the same reckless abandon as Draxler, which is something that is needed to fulfil the necessary balance in a Premier League attack. With characters such as Rooney, Mata, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Michael Carrick, more experience is not necessarily something van Gaal need look for – especially in any potential attacking additions. Draxler would fit the bill of a young, hungry player who would appreciate a big move to one of the best clubs in the world and contribute his own brand of raw talent to the mix.