What Julian Draxler can bring to Paris
Tuesday, January 3, 2017
Julian Draxler has completed his move from Wolfsburg to Paris Saint-Germain; UEFA.com looks where the German international midfielder could fit in at the French champions.
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Paris Saint-Germain have completed the signing of Julian Draxler, who has agreed a deal until 2021 to join from Wolfsburg – and the French champions will be looking for the German international to add impetus to their attack.
Ligue 1 title winners in each of the last four seasons, Paris trail Nice and Monaco at the winter break this time round, and slipped to second place in UEFA Champions League Group A on matchday six – setting up a last-16 tie against Barcelona next month.
The hefty investment in the 23-year-old Draxler should inject some new energy, with the attacking midfielder having joined up with the squad already. Together with his new team-mates, he will fly to Tunis today to take part in tomorrow's friendly against Club Africain.
Paris are already well stocked for attacking midfielders and wingers, with Ángel Di María, Hatem Ben Arfa, Lucas, Javier Pastore and even summer signing Jesé operating in those positions – although a mixture of struggles for form and injury problems means that only Lucas has come close to his potential this season.
Coach Unai Emery said that Draxler – the youngest player to appear in the Bundesliga for Schalke back in 2011, aged 17 years 111 days – will "allow us to play more directly, and he'll create assists. With him, we'll be able to play closer to the opposition goal".
Draxler could slot in to Emery's preferred 4-3-3 formation on the left of the attacking trident, with Edinson Cavani through the middle and Di María pushed forward on the right.
The 2014 FIFA World Cup winner also brings a special mindset; having scored three goals in nine UEFA Champions League appearances for Wolfsburg, and inspired the victory against Gent in last year's round of 16, he is now ready to kick on to the next level. Paris should give him that chance.