Draxler: PSG's jack of all trades, master of some
With Neymar and Kylian Mbappé for company, Julian Draxler may not be the highest-profile attacking talent at Paris Saint-Germain, but he's becoming an increasingly important figure in the French capital.
Signed from Wolfsburg in January 2017, Draxler has already chalked up six major honours and more than 100 appearances in all competitions with PSG.
"It's a special number for me," Draxler, speaking to the Ligue 1 show on beIN SPORTS, explained of his century of PSG games, which he moved past in the rare 2-1 defeat to Olympique Lyonnais in Week 23. "Time goes very fast. I arrived two years ago now and I'm just as happy today as I was the first day."
Watch: PSG were edged on Draxler's 100th game, in which he got an assist
A FIFA World Cup winner with Germany in 2014, Draxler hasn't let his standards slip, with 19 goals and 19 assists in all competitions to his name for PSG. The 25-year-old insists the best is yet to come, though.
"I think I can improve, but as you know, we bought Kylian and Neymar and now I’ve been playing in midfield, even at No.6 in recent games, so I'm not the goalscoring machine like [Edinson] Cavani and the other guys," he continued. "But I think I've improved a lot as a player of the last two years, especially this year with the German coach and I'm still very happy."
Draxler has relished playing under his compatriot Thomas Tuchel. He may have played in almost every position in midfield and attack, but the former Borussia Dortmund coach has found a space for Draxler in 19 of PSG's 22 league games so far.
Draxler (l.) is enjoying working under compatriot Tuchel (r.) at PSG.
"In every position, it's important that you're able to change your game because can't do crazy dribbling if you are playing in the No.6 position because it's too important for the defence to concede goals," he said. "But I still feel free on the pitch and when I have some crazy ideas, I still try to use some of my skills and that's what the coach wants from me as well because he knows I used to be a very offensive player.
"He doesn’t want me to play like Marco Verratti, who never shoots. He knows that I can score and deliver assists for my teammates and I don't want to lose that, but the most important thing is the team and that's why I try to adapt to every position where the coach needs me. This season it has been left wing, No.8, on the left, on the right and even No.6. It's important for me to find my place in the first XI and the last few weeks have been going very well for me and I want to keep it up."