Is Julian Draxler a like-to-like replacement for Philippe Coutinho?
Liverpool may have a successful transfer window after all, as a perfect replacement for Philippe Coutinho, Julian Draxler, has been told he can leave PSG.
Yesterday it was reported by Sky Sports Germany that Draxler is no longer in boss Unai Emery’s plans and he will allow the German to find a new club. This sent both Liverpool and Arsenal fans into a frenzy on Twitter, urging their clubs to sign the 23-year-old.
As mentioned, both Arsenal and Liverpool fans have been desperately trying to convince their clubs to buy the German, demanding he should be purchased if he is available. Wenger is said to be a big fan of Draxler and was supposedly close to signing him in January 2014, but the deal fell through.
Coutinho is being drawn towards one of the greatest teams ever in Barcelona, and they are desperate for his creativity. Whereas Sanchez has only been linked with a move to Manchester City or PSG, who already have a lot of talent at his specific position. This makes it seem more likely for Sanchez to stay rather than Coutinho during this summer transfer window. If Coutinho was to leave, it would pave the way for Draxler, with the Reds needing a world class replacement to fill the void left by the departing Brazilian.
The Coutinho saga, despite Klopp insisting that there is no news on the situation, will be ongoing until the end of the transfer window if Barcelona don't sign the Brazilian by then. With Barcelona likely to offer over £100 million, it’s going to be difficult for Liverpool to turn it down. Eventually, the most ideal situation would be to sell the 25-year-old, especially considering that he is rumoured to have a damaged relationship with boss Jurgen Klopp.
Sky Sports News’ Kaveh Solhekol tweeted himself a week ago that Coutinho does not want to play for Liverpool again and his relationship with manager Klopp is not very good. Now that Draxler is available, it seems like the most suitable option is to get the best deal out of the Coutinho transfer whilst efficiently replacing him with a world-class talent.
Draxler has operated from the left in more recent years, however, he is more than capable of playing the centre attacking midfield role, Coutinho’s preferred position. The German has only spent six months with French outfit PSG, but with the arrival of Neymar and the existing pool of players like Angel Di Maria, Marco Verratti and Edinson Cavani, he will be struggling to find a place in the starting 11.
The German was only able to score four goals and provide one assist during his six months at PSG last season, but he contributed much more than what these numbers show. He can play in the central attacking midfield role, on the left or as a false nine, with his movement, in particular, being outstanding. He is skilful, extremely talented, and most importantly still young. It seems impossible that the German is only 23 years old, but since starting for Schalke at 17 years old in 2011, he has become such a mature young player.
Champions League football will be crucial to Draxler, and with Liverpool having beaten Hoffenheim in a tough away tie, scoring two away goals, they have edged closer towards the Champions League group stage. This season, Champions League football is something that the Reds can offer over Arsenal, which could potentially sway the German’s decision if he feels Liverpool are a club going in a better direction than the Gunners.
Furthermore, with PSG having paid in the region of £40 million for the German and him not having made a huge impact in six months, he should not cost much more than around £50 million. This would leave them with a further £50 million or more, if they sell Coutinho, to spend on a much needed central defender. This would give Liverpool a very strong chance of challenging for the league title as well.
If Coutinho is unhappy and has a frayed relationship with boss Klopp, it only seems right to sell the Brazilian. With Draxler available, he would be a very ideal, cheap replacement in the current market, whilst still allowing the Reds to spend and strengthen elsewhere.