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Julian Draxler discusses Jogi Low, PSG, and a potential future at Bayern Munich

Draxler had a lot to say in a lengthy interview with Sport1 ahead of Germany’s clash against France.

Paris Saint Germain v Angers - French League 1
PARIS, FRANCE - AUGUST 25: Julian Draxler of Paris Saint Germain during the French League 1 match between Paris Saint Germain v Angers at the Parc des Princes on August 25, 2018 in Paris France
Paris Saint Germain v Angers - French League 1 PARIS, FRANCE - AUGUST 25: Julian Draxler of Paris Saint Germain during the French League 1 match between Paris Saint Germain v Angers at the Parc des Princes on August 25, 2018 in Paris France
(Photo by Jeroen Meuwsen/Soccrates/Getty Images)

In a recent interview with Sport1, Julian Draxler of Paris Saint-Germain and the German National Team spoke in detail about his relationship with Joachim Löw and Die Mannschaft, his role at PSG, a potential move to Bayern Munich in the future, and more. The 24-year-old has already had am impressive career for himself, having established himself in the Bundesliga with Schalke and VfL Wolfsburg before making the move to Paris in the winter of 2016.

A strong relationship with Joachim Löw, Germany teammates

In the World Cup, Draxler featured twice for Die Mannschaft as they crashed out of the tournament in the group stage for the first time in their history, sparking speculation that there was unrest in the dressing room. People also felt as if there was a lack of pride that a majority of players had, lacking the right attitude. Retrospectively, Draxler said that wasn’t the case, despite how poor the performances on the pitch were:

Everyone is proud when he’s invited [to the national team], because at that moment he belongs to the best German players. Lately it came across as if we didn’t care at all whether we were with the national team or not. That’s not true. But sure, all of us could have expressed that identification outwardly more.

Having made his senior debut for Germany at the age of 18, Draxler has developed a close relationship with manager Joachim Löw. The close relationship, he says, has helped stay grounded throughout his career and prepared him for life at top-flight clubs in both Germany and now France:

We have a long path together behind us already. I first joined the national team at the age of 18 after all. That creates a connection between two people. Of course, in competitive terms you also have to perform, and I have done that in the past few years. I always had the feeling that the national coach supported me, even when things didn’t go so well. I could always rely on the national coach and I’m very thankful to him for that.

The fight for consistent minutes in Paris

Despite his almost certain place on Löw’s roster, Draxler has stiff competition for minutes at PSG. He has to compete with Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, and Angel Di Maria in PSG’s attacking midfield roles, and he also competes with Adrien Rabiot, Lassana Diarra, and Marco Verratti because of his ability to be deployed as a central midfielder as well. So far this season, under new manager Thomas Tuchel, he has played in three out of four matches, appearing as a second-half substitute in each. His longest shift lasted a mere 20 minutes in PSG’s 3-0 win over SM Caen. Despite the decreased minutes, Draxler still sees himself playing an important role for the Parisians:

The competition is fierce, particularly at my position. With Kylian [Mbappe] and Neymar, two of the best players in the world right now are playing there — or at least players who in my opinion will be that.

There were certainly clubs that were interested in acquiring his services during the summer transfer window, but he’s remained confident that he can have another season where he plays in 48 matches, just like he did in the 2017/2018 campaign under Unai Emery en route to a domestic treble:

I didn’t see any reason for running away [in the summer window]. The prospects simply haven’t changed. I played in 47, 48 games last year and am convinced that I will do so again this season. I like the club and the city. I feel good there — that’s why there was no reason for me to go elsewhere.

A future with Bayern Munich somewhere along the line?

It’s no secret that both Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben are already in the closing stages of their careers with Bayern Munich, while Kingsley Coman has had serious injury trouble. With potential vacancies in the attacking midfield position by the summer of 2019, there could be a good fit at Bayern for Draxler, if he were to fancy a move back to the Bundesliga. Bayern have already expressed their interest in signing him, and the cards could all well and truly align by next summer for a move to take place.

Draxler himself couldn’t rule out a future move to Bayern when he was asked about having a potential future there:

Bayern is by far the most successful club in Germany. Everything else is speculation. I never had contact with an official at Bayern at any point. At present the question thus does not arise. I would neither categorically say no nor would I drop everything. But to reiterate: the question doesn’t arise at the present.

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