Scouting Network – Julian Draxler
Goalden Times brings you the stars of tomorrow – 20 years or under, promising players from across the world
Full Name: Julian Draxler
Date of Birth: September 20, 1993
Position: Left-wing midfielder
Club: FC Schalke 04
Market Value: £12.5 m
●●●Julian Draxler became the fourth youngest player ever to play in the Bundesliga when he came on as a substitute for Schalke 04 in their 1-0 home defeat to Hamburg on January 15, 2011 as 17 years, 3 months, 27 days old. He has been with Die Knappen since 2001-02 and his smooth rise to the top continued when he was given a start a week later, becoming the second youngest player ever – behind Nuri Sahin – to feature in the first XI in a Bundesliga match. A few days later, on January 25, he scored his first goal for the club, coming on as a super-sub in a DFB-Pokal match against FC Nüremberg in the dying seconds of extra time to snatch a win. He also scored the opener in the finals and his strong showing earned him a call for the U-21 national team. Draxler celebrated his debut with a goal against Cyprus on August 9, 2011 in the 2013 UEFA European U-21 Football Championship. Barely a year later, on May 26, 2012, he made his senior team debut, coming on from the bench in a 5-3 loss to Switzerland.
Draxler has made a meteoric rise to the top having been a regular starter for Schalke at a tender age of 17. Greater things seem to be on his way as the youngster has finished his academic commitments and can now fully concentrate on the football pitch. His dribbling skills down the left flank have mesmerised the defenders and he would look to polish his raw skills even further this season. Draxler’s pace along with positional sense and tactical know-how has been his biggest assets and is surprising to see this level of maturity at such a tender age. His performance against Mönchengladbach last year was awe-inspiring and he has only gone on to improve further. He has played in a more central role this season and it has paid dividends as he has equalled his last season’s goal tally (of five) already. It will not be long before this wonder kid makes a name for himself in the national squad also by replacing some of his more illustrious countrymen.