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Arsenal ditch Draxler in favour of Belgium’s domestic brute

| 01.05.2014

For whatever reason, Arsenal’s much-publicised interest in Schalke’s Julian Draxler during the January transfer window didn’t amount to anything as the player stayed with the Bundesliga’s third-placed side.

With the reopening of football’s sunny shopping spree fast approaching, it was thought that the Gunners, who are 2/7 to beat West Brom next time out, would cast their gaze back over the 20-year-old forward.

It seems that, unlike some X Factor failures, the Gunners won’t put themselves back in the face of rejection as rumours gather pace that they’ll drop all interest in the German for a Belgian striker enjoying a prolific season.

Standard Liege’s Michy Batshuayi is the man Arsene Wenger has supposedly dropped his Draxler interest for, with the 20-year-old earmarked to join Yaya Sanogo as Olivier Giroud’s understudy at the Emirates.

Batshuayi’s exploits in the Belgian Jupiler League have attracted interest from a number of clubs, including French moneybags Monaco.

The Brussels native has fired 18 goals past various opposition keepers in 29 league outings this term, a tally which will give the youngster a real chance of replacing the injured Christian Benteke at this summer’s Brazilian World Cup.

Should that be the case, then an eye-catching Batshuayi performance in Rio will only drive his value upwards, meaning Wenger should make his move sooner rather than later.

Having yet to make his debut for Marc Wilmots’ Red Devils though, a price-hiking showing at Brazil is less likely, especially after the national manager moved to criticise the selfishness of the Belgian league’s top-scorer recently.

With that in mind Wenger could have a real bargain on his hands, with Batshuayi’s scoring exploits able to quickly elevate him above Sanogo in the pecking order. The Frenchman is yet to score for Arsenal in 12 senior appearances.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.