The first signs that Arsenal might be losing patience with Mesut Ozil have emerged, with reports that the Gunners are targeting Julian Draxler in January to provide more competition for their record signing.
Ozil has cut a desperate figure in recent weeks, with the result that his recent injury is being viewed with a measure of relief by many Arsenal fans.
Draxler is apparently likely to step into his shoes for Germany by playing as their number 10 against Poland, a match the Schalke man is 23/10 to score in at any time.
The 21-year-old has been linked with a move to Arsenal for over a year, and Ozil’s recent form has reportedly led to Arsene Wenger stepping up his interest, with rumours of a £37m January bid being prepared.
There is confusion over whether that amount would trigger a release clause in Draxler’s contract, or if the £37m release fee is only active in the summer, but either way Schalke would surely consider selling for such a sum.
Schalke, who recently replaced Jens Keller with Roberto Di Matteo in the dugout, have endured a tough start to the campaign, and Draxler is yet to hit his straps himself this term with just one goal and one assist in all competitions.
However, the versatile 21-year-old has still cut a more dynamic figure than Ozil has at Arsenal, completing 3.6 dribbles-per-game, the fifth-best tally in the Bundesliga.
Crucially Draxler is better suited to the wide left position in a 4-3-3, a role Arsenal’s number 11 has struggled in this season due to his lack of physicality.
Ozil is often unable to influence the game from the flank, and lacks the work rate to track back and help out his full-back, something that has frequently cost Arsenal.
Draxler is a natural fit for the role, and can also play through the centre of the attack, a flexibility that is always likely to come in useful in the Gunners’ frequently injury-hit squad.
Arsene Wenger’s side’s next match is at home to Hull, a game they are comfortable 2/5 favourites to win.
All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing.
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