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Arsenal’s surplus of ‘number 10s’ makes Draxler strange choice

| 16.01.2014

One thing Arsenal have in abundance is technically gifted attacking midfielders, though this hasn’t stopped Arsene Wenger stepping up his interest in German whiz kid Julian Draxler, rather than securing back up for lone front man Olivier Giroud.

Trying to second guess Wenger’s transfer policies is no enviable task, yet most observers will be unanimous in the opinion that what Arsenal have been crying, no, screaming out for, is a viable alternative to lead the attack that isn’t Nicklas Bendtner.

Draxler is undoubtedly a special talent, a dribbler of rare ability and at just 20-years-old is already being touted as one of the brightest young players Germany has to offer, alongside Mario Gotze.

However, one thing he certainly isn’t, is a striker. Draxler either operates behind a striker or more recently he’s been seen operating on the left flank for current side Schalke – where he has only bagged four goals this season.

If Arsenal were to procure his services, Draxler would not only have to dislodge compatriot Mesut Ozil – arguably the greatest number 10 (well 11) in currently in world football – if he were to play as a central playmaker, but he’d be vying for a wider place up against Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Serge Gnabry and Lukas Podolski also.

There is an argument being floated that Wenger will attempt to transform Draxler into a centre-forward, as he supposedly did when Robin van Persie turned up from Feyenoord as a bushy-tailed attacking midfielder.

If this is Wenger’s master plan, then good luck to him, he’s certainly never been short of a masterstroke or two in his 18-year Arsenal reign.

Any switch is highly unlikely to take place before the summer though, and if the 4/1 Premier League title shots are to make it a reality, spending some of that wonga on signing a top class striker in January still seems wiser.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.