Julian Draxler: Schalke’s rising star

Posted: January 7, 2012 in Bundesliga, Germany, Player profiles, Schalke
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Draxler: winner of 2011 Fritz Walter U18 gold medal

Julian Draxler became the (then) fourth-youngest Bundesliga player ever when he made his debut.

That was January 2011, when he came off the bench against HSV. A week later, and he became the second youngest outfield player to start a Bundesliga match – behind only Nuri Sahin. To add context to that, Sahin won the title with Dortmund and now plays for Real Madrid, so second to him isn’t bad.

He worked his way through the ranks at Schalke before his celebrated debut, having been born in the close-by district of Recklinghausen. His fact track to the first team shows just how highly he is rated.

In 2011, he won the gold Fritz Walter Medal at U18 level, an award that recognises the outstanding talents at U17, U18 and U19 level of German football. (Marc-Andre ter Stegen, profiled here, won gold in U19, while Emre Can did so at U17).

His star continues to rise, and this season has seen him make sixteen appearances already for Schalke, during which time he has scored three goals – equaling his total for the whole of last season.

He has also broken into the Germany U21 side, and although a debut for the Nationalmannschaft looks some way off at the moment, he could well be a fixture come the World Cup 2014, and certainly Euro 2016.

The defensive side of his game has been spoke about as a weakness, but he is very much seen as an attacking playmaker, evident in the fact his strengths lie in his shooting and passing, while he possesses a good technique and plenty of flair.

Never overawed, he’s a rugged, hard-working midfielder with a maturity way beyond his years.” John Dobson, journalist. @dobsonjp

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