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Player Focus: Julian Draxler - The Midfielder Perfect For Manchester City

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Player Focus: Julian Draxler - The Midfielder Perfect For Manchester City

 

Manchester City’s reported interest in Julian Draxler is comprehensible: having missed out on the signing of Isco to Real Madrid, a young, dynamic, creative playmaker to potentially field the void behind a striker seemingly remains a necessity. While David Silva will likely occupy the number 10 role in Manuel Pellegrini’s favoured 4-2-3-1 formation, a combination of a lack of viable competition and burnout saw the Spaniard’s impact last year minimalised somewhat, especially when compared to his debut campaign with the Citizens.

 

Missing out on Isco would have certainly been a blow to Pellegrini. The young midfielder became the fulcrum of the Malaga attack under the Chilean, with the manager dubbed ‘El Ingeniero’ - The Engineer - regularly calling upon the creative talents of the 21-year-old to unlock an opposition defence. Nevertheless, with Los Blancos securing his signature last month, it has seen City swap targets, and understandably so.

 

Many the footballing connoisseur would’ve presumed Draxler to be unavailable this summer after signing a fresh two-year contract extension back in May, running until 2018. Yet, having failed to rule out a potential move away from FC Schalke 04, it has seen many a big spending manager cast a watchful eye towards the Veltins-Arena in the hope of snaring the youngster before the close of the transfer window.

 

The 19-year-old broke onto the scene in 2011 before making a name for himself during Schalke’s 3-2 DFB-Pokal encounter with 1. FC Nuremburg, netting the winner in the dying seconds of extra time of the quarter final encounter. Since then, it’s been a steady upward curve of improvement for the young German, who was handed the opportunity to step out of the shadows of first Raul Gonzalez and then Lewis Holtby in January after the pairing departed the Bundesliga side in the space of six months.

 

Netting 10 and assisting a further three goals last season has seen Draxler’s stock rise considerably, while a shot accuracy of 61.7% - the highest of any Bundesliga player to have fired away 35 or more shots over the season - would’ve certainly aided in seeing the continent’s biggest teams take a liking to the youngster. With a 22.4% direct contribution to Schalke's goals last season, his creative capabilities are clear, but combined with his shot accuracy, Draxler exhibits a goal-getting ability that City's current midfielders do not.

 

Player Focus: Julian Draxler - The Midfielder Perfect For Manchester City

 

It’s an area where City could certainly improve upon from the previous campaign, with only 22 of their 66 goals coming from midfielders last season. In addition the recent acquisition Jesús Navas doesn't really add firepower, with the Spaniard failing to find the back of the net with Sevilla last year from 80 shots on goal, the worst return in Europe’s top five leagues. City's title-winning season may’ve seen the midfielders at the club net just 27 times - a drop of only five goals - but it’s a lack of strikes from deep that often hindered the former champions over the campaign.

 

The front-men failing to consistently find their rhythm in and around the 18-yard box would’ve also played a pivotal role in this, evidenced in that City only netted 66 goals compared to the 93 the previous year, but adding a further goal threat from midfield will be crucial to the club this summer as they aim to wrestle the Premier League title back from rivals Manchester United.

 

Evidently, Draxler could add the necessary goals from in and around the penalty area, while his versatility in a three-man attacking midfield, having played on the left flank and behind the striker for Schalke last season, would benefit his teammates significantly. Perhaps his arrival would help Silva in particular, with the midfielder not only providing the necessary competition as previously mentioned, but the system Pellegrini would likely adopt will allow both players to drift into pockets of space behind the striker and hurt the opposition.

 

Draxler's average of 1.5 key passes per game was significantly lower than that of Silva - with the Spaniard’s 3.3 per game the highest in Europe’s top five leagues last season - while he made just 28.2 passes per domestic encounter last season. However, with 2.6 successful dribbles per match, Draxler could offer a different threat to the City system, with that figure higher than any player currently on the books at the Etihad Stadium.

 

Moreover, with the club missing out on Isco, it can be argued that Draxler would be the more superior signing. The stats weigh in the favour of the latter when looking at the goals (9) and assists (1) of the former Malaga youngster, not to mention the successful dribbles (1.6) and key passes per game (1.2) of the Spain international, despite Isco’s pass success of 84.7% being stronger than Draxler’s 81.7%.

 

Following the acquisition of Fernandinho also, it’s fair to say that City could do with bringing in players that will add width to their game. While Draxler’s overall attacking game improved significantly when positioned behind the striker with Schalke, the option to place him on the flank will only appeal to Pellegrini as he looks to soften the blow that missing out on Isco caused.

 

His goalscoring capabilities from midfield will ease the burden placed on the shoulders of current strike pairing Sergio Agüero and Edin Džeko, while also allowing Silva to operate more centrally where the club can utilise his creativity and see his form from the 2011/12 season return. Having garnered an average WhoScored.com rating of 7.41 Schalke will likely strive to keep hold of the midfielder, but with the abundance of riches currently available to Pellegrini; City could be landing the German this summer should they pursue their interest over the coming weeks.

Comments (2)

 
  • draxler and silva are far better than jojo

  • What would you say about Jovetic? Should City sign him, he can fill that same role behind the main striker, play out on the wing, or play up front himself. That way, you have competition with Silva in two spots, plus depth at FW.

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Siena Carlos Cuellar Javier Zanetti Michele Canini Zdenek Pospech Sergio Garcia Damien Duff Yoan Gouffran Giuseppe Biava Hilton Nicola Legrottaglie Magno Macedo Novaes Daniel Aranzubia Antonio Conte Andrea Ranocchia per Mertesacker Manucho Leo Nils Petersen Cyril Thereau Adam Szalai Pavel Pogrebnyak Roman Neustadter Daniele Conti Milan Badelj Gerhard Tremmel Daniel Agger Kyle Nauhgton Zoltan Gera Brett Holman Adriano Youssuf Mulumbu Premier League. Luis Suarez Federico Peluso Jamel Saihi Gustavo Cabral Wakaso Daniele Gastaldello Danilo David Pizarro loris Nery Hugo Mallo Gotoku Sakai Andre Wisdom Andre Schürrle Mousa Dembélé Hamburger SV Rafael van der Vaart Rene Adler Sean Morrison Juan Jesus Frederik Sorensen Nicolas Isimat-Mirin Joel Matip Barry Bannan Nicky Shorey Luca Cigarini Andrea Consigli Carl Medjani Ricardo Faty Jerome Rothen Takashi Inui Takashi Usami Steven Pienaar Tolgay Arslan Loris Nery Wissam Ben Yeder Angelo Ogbonna Yoann Gouffran Marc Planus Ludovic Obraniak Emanuel Herrera Anthony Mounier Daniel Congre Pablo Hernandez Arda Gueida Fofana Arnold Mvuemba Steed Malbranque Kwadwo Asamoah Christian Maggio Massadio Haidara Jean-Christophe Bahebeck Mladen Petric Real Betis Riccardo Montolivo Lucio Christophe Jallet Gokhan Inler Ilkay Gundogan Marvin Martin Steeve Elana Alain Traore Renaud Cohade Geoffrey Dernis Daniel Avles Patrick Helmes Raobin van Persie Pablo Armero Rondon Fabio Borini Patrick Herrmann Jonathan Scmid Kostantinos Fortounis Vincent Pajot Josua Guilavogui Idrissa Gana Gueye Ezequiel Munoz Nene Oliver Sorg Davide Brivio Sebastian Larsson Franceso Totti Tom Trybull M'Baye Niang Jean Daniel Akpa Akpro Matias Silvestre Euro 2012 Olof Mellberg Crisitano Ronaldo Alvaro Arbeloa Sebastian Boenisch Alan Dzagoev Andrey Arshavin Michael Krohn-Dehli Vaclav Pilar Theodor Gebre Selassie Gordon Schildenfeld Greece Miguel Veloso Mark Davies David Hoilett Santiago Garcia Marco Rignoni Vicente Guaita Michael Rensing Paul Robinson Fabien Audard Thomas Vermaelen Younes Belhanda Aurelien Chedjou Nancy St. Etienne Lukas Piszczek Dante Gijon Claudio Pizzaro Racing Santander Jonas Hannover Santander Claudio Pizarro Cesena David Jarolim Joe Cole Moussa Dembele Yakubu Leon Best Benat Kaiserslautern Christian Tiffert Paolo De Ceglie Federico Balzaretti Jeremey Menez Juan MGladbach Andreas Ivanschitz Jires Kembo-Ekoko Guillaume Hoarau Florent Malouda Steve Gohouri Kenwyne Jones Lecce Stephen Ireland Jakub Blaszcykowski Sloan Privat Abraham Guie Guie Louis Saha Martin Harnik German Bundesliga Grant Holt Ali Al-Habsi Ludovic Sane Aldo Angoula Younes Kaboul Brest Marcelo Stiliyan Petrov mathieu Valbuena Tono Ramirez Gianluca Buffon Emile Heskey John Utaka Markus Rosenborg Jonathan Biabiany Andrea Caracciolo Evian Thonon Gaillard Mohammed Abdellaoue Dijon Anton Ferdinand Betting Eric Mouloungui Gregory Pujol Eduardo Ribeiro Sebastien Larsson Nolan Roux Bradley Johnson Jamie O'Hara Wes Brown Jason Lowe Jose Enrique Anders Lindegaard Mark Schwarzer Cheik Tiote Alberto Aquilani Danny Murphy Martin O'Neill Modibo Maiga OGC Nice Perparim Hetemaj Alejandro Faurlin Leon Britton Antonio Nocerino Maximiliano Moralez Claudio Marchisio Marco Rigoni Simone Pepe Heidar Helguson Mark Gower Blackburn Emanuele Calaiò Zlatan Ibrahimović Germán Denis Jose Jurado Nicolas Anelka Edgar Barreto Alexandre Song Shaun Wright-Phillips Nicolas Maurice-Belay Jhon Jairo Culma Kevin Anin Sebastien Corchia Kevin Theophile-Catherine FC Cologne Julien Feret Jaroslav Plasil Yann Jouffre Tomas Rincon Kevin Davies Giampiero Pinzi Tamas Hajnal Camel Meriem Frederic Bulot AS Nancy Gabriel Torje Lynel Kitambala Florent Sinama-Pongolle Idriss Saadi Oscar Trejo Botelho Juanlu Axel Bellinghausen Gonzalo Castro Andrea Cossu Marcel Schafer Marco Hoger Timothy Chandler Bolton Wanderers Ivan Klasnic Paris St Germain Wolverhampton Wanderers Wigan Athletic Javi Varas Blackburn Rovers Stephan Lichtsteiner Anotnio Cassano Nenad Milijas Anatoliy Tymoshchuk Luis Gustavo Ruud van Nistelrooy Benoit Cheyrou Lucho Gonzalez League Analysis Walter Samuel Christian Chivu AS Roma Stephen Warnock Martin Kelly Gary Caldwell Karl Henry Kevin Doyle England National Football Team Javi Venta Vicente Iborra Sergio Ballesteros Bobby Zamora Jonas Gutierrez Dariusz Dudka Youssouf Hadji Christian Abbiati Alvaro Dominguez Phil Neville Senad Lulic Filip Daems Ezequiel Schelotto Victor Ruiz Jonathan Pereira Anthony Reveillere Santiago Gentiletti Cheikh Diabate Nicolas Spolli Luciano Fabian Monzon Mauricio Isla Ignazio Abate Titus Bramble Leroy Lita Christian Lell Philipp Wollscheid Milivoje Novakovic Tottenhman Hotspur Johan Cavalli Eliseu Serdar Tasci Ryan Babel Aleksandar Ignjovski Chechu Dorado Djamel Mesbah Arsenal Swansea Ashely Williams Piscu Eden Dzeko Emmerson Boyce Auxerre Phil Bardsley Jose Bosingwa Gretar Steinsson Mattia Cassani Jonathan Woodgate Germany National Football Team Gasperini Mauro Zarate Diego Forlan Estaban Cambiasso Juraj Kucka Marco Faraoni Joel Obi Benedikt Howedes Clemens Fritz Chris Lowe Daniel van Buyten Albania Yann M’Vila Baptiste Reynet Angelo Palombo Eric Tie Bi Chris Mavinga Aaron Hughes Chris Baird Raul Aly Cissokho Alessandro Del Piero France National Football Team Marc Tierney Bundelsiga Raul Bobadilla Loric Remy Jean Pascal Mignot Mainz 05 Schalke 04 Marcel Risse Steven Reid Danny Gabbidon Michal Kadlec Paulo Machado Ben Watson Spain National Football Team German National Football Team Bundeslgia Ricardo Carvalho Ivan Ramis Diego Colotto Sergio Fernandez Sere A Cesare Bovo Miguel Britos Bostjan Cesar Jose Angel Gabriel Heinze Chris Samba Charles N'Zogbia Yohan Demont Rod Fanni Rudy Mater Georgios Tzavellas Javier Pinola Dennis Aogo Daniel Schwaab Attacking Full-Backs Defensive Wingers 2010/11 Attacking Wingers Nicolas Douchez Under-21 Team of Season 2010-11 Maxi Rodriguez Crossing Wingers Under-21 Team of Season All-Round Midfielders Benoit Pedretti Rising Stars Gaetano D'Agostino Centre Backs Paulo Da Silva Ivan Hernandez Eric Abidal Weligton Borja Ekiza Alassane Toure Stephane Grichting Jordan Loties Kader Mangane Adama Coulibaly Pedro Geromel Neven Subotic Christian Zapata Roger Johnson Stephan Lichsteiner Reto Ziegler David Vaughan Seb Larsson Asamoah Gyan Benoit Pedretti Anthony Mounier Simao Duda Alvaro Cejudo Xabi Prieto Alexsandar Kolarov Guiseppe Mascara Simone Bentivoglio Fernando Marques Gian Piero Gasperin Thomas Hitzlsperger Rafael Van der Vaart Theofanis Gekas Gerard Asamoah Youssef Al Arabi Lisandro Loric Remy Victor Hugo Montano Edison Cavani Sergio Pellissier David Di Michele Steward Downing Spain Under 21 Felipe Caicedo Pierre Webo Youssef El-Arabi Brown Ideye Mobido Maiga Chu-Young Robin Van Persie Kevin Gamerio Udinese. Alexis Sanchez Sami Allagui Frédéric Kanouté Renato Augusto Jonathan Pitropia Eljero Elia Ivo Llicevic Diego Perez Alvaro González Abel Hernandez David VIlla Marcel Schmelzer Danijel Pranjic Holger Badstuber Sven Bender Johan Djourou Darren Fletcher Carlos Kameni Thiago Silve Antonia Di Natale Oliver Baumann Anatoliy Tymoscchuk Christain Fuchs Cristiano Zapata Domenico Criscito Luis Jimenez Josep Ilicic Samuel Eto’o Alexis Thébaux Ludovic Sané Mamouda Sakho Boukary Dramé Daniel Alves Nikolay Mihaylov Charles Puyol Ji-Sung Park Edwin van der Sar Dani Alves John O’Shea Park Ji-Jung Gabi Fernandez Jonathan de Guzman Michael Owen Gary Taylor-Fletcher Ian Evatt DJ Campbell Charles N’Zogbia Wolverhampton Avram Grant Conor Sammon Wayne Bridge Rob Green Victor Obinna Mike Hanke Borussia Munchengladbach VfL Bochum Tomasz Kuszczak Martin Olsson Brett Emerton Steven N’Zonzi Muset Ozil Gianpaolo Pazzini Leonardo Seydou Keita Miguel Pallardo Ibrahim Afellay Valdo Pallardo Damien Perquis Luka Modrid David SIlva Benoit Assou-Ekotto Vedran Corluka Saloman Kalou Clarence Seedorf Matteo Brighi Fabio Simplicio Rodrigo Taddei Mark Van Bommel Gennaro Gattuso Kevin Prince-Boateng Nicolas Burdisso Elkin Soto Pep Gaurdiola Antonio da Silva Robert Mak Anderson. Jack Wilshere Heurelho Gomes Andre Marriner Pinto Alavro Arbeloa Alexander Hleb Messi Ronaldo

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