Arsene Wenger is a man who likes his deals. Akin to a Premier League bargain hunter, Wenger has built himself of reputation of shying away from big-money signings and has missed out on plenty of talent because of it.
The French tactician must have taken offense to such allegations as he shocked the world last summer by spending £40 million on one player — not two, or three, nor four, but one. That man, Mesut Ozil, has looked well worth the money despite hitting a few rough patches as the season has progressed.
Before Ozil, though, Arsenal had been eying FC Schalke‘s 20-year-old wunderkind Julian Draxler, but were never able to pry the player away from Germany. Now, the Gunners are placing a formal bid for the attacking midfielder in the range of £24.7 million.
That almost sounds all well and good, lest we forget the fact that Schalke set his release clause at £37 million. Given this fact, Wenger’s bid starts to look a bit thrifty and very nonchalant, much like Le Professeur of the past whom we all were comfortable with. In a way, there is something honorable about his long-term goals of developing players instead of purchasing a ready-made package.
Yet, this is the way that the game is going, and even Wenger must admit that most of his current side are not youth products from Arsenal’s academy, as much as that image is portrayed.
For a player of his age, Draxler is as ready-made as any club could hope for, with plenty of first-team experience to boot. He is in his third full season of Bundesliga action and is in his second year of Champions League play. The German international is a deft dribbler and has an eye for the pass, much like fellow countryman Ozil. The playmaker is a constant threat and he has flair for days.
Draxler may be the hot prospect right now, but reports are coming out that the next best thing in Germany is his Schalke teammate, 18-year-old Max Meyer; he is one to keep an eye on, as well. Will Schalke keep Draxler at least until the summer, or will Arsene Wenger perform another Deadline Day coup?