With his first anniversary as Paris Saint-Germain player approaching, World Cup winner Julian Draxler is enjoying life as a prominent part of the capital’s star-studded team.
Indeed, despite Neymar and Kylian Mbappe’s arrivals in the capital this summer, the versatile German has kept his place in the side, simply occupying a different role to his previous wide-attacking berth.
Draxler told This is Paris: “Now I play in midfield and I like this position a lot, I hope I can keep improving. I have already played in this position with the German national team at the Confederations Cup last summer, and I don’t think it’s really that hard at Paris. There are so many intelligent players, of the highest level. It’s a bit different for me, but it’s good.
“I think I can still do more, but this season is a bit special because I arrived late after the Confederations Cup and it takes time to get back to your best. Now I’m feeling good and I’m ready for the upcoming challenges.
Having spoken up until now in impressive French, Draxler chose to switch to English in order to ensure precision when he spoke about PSG’s major summer signings: “I think it’s very important that Paris can buy this type of great player, like Neymar and Kylian Mbappé. It’s a great feeling to play alongside these players. On the one hand it was great that we could get them, but from my point of view, it was mixed because each player has their own personal objectives and you always want to play every match.
“Both Neymar and Kylian play in my position on the wings, so you think about every option. But I have confidence in my abilities and I have the quality to play here and I never considered leaving Paris Saint-Germain after just six months. I am very happy to have found a new position on the pitch and it’s really amazing to play with them.”
Draxler may play a deeper role these days, but he hasn’t lost his eye for goal, as he proved with a gem of a strike against Bordeaux: “It was a magnificent goal. We played really well and it was already 5-0 at half-time and it really is great playing with these guys. Kylian made a great assist – and maybe the finish wasn’t too bad either.
“I’m convinced we have a team capable of doing great things this season but we still have a long way to go. We’re only halfway through this campaign and I think we will keep improving and then there’s the winter break, but with this team I really think we have what it takes to compete with the very best in Europe.”