Player to watch: Julian Draxler (Germany)

Has been “the next big thing” in German football for several years now but turns 23 in September and he hasn’t yet taken the step from hugely talented player to international star.

Spent four years at Schalke — where he had played a 100 competitive games at the age of 19 years and 170 days — before they surprisingly sold him to Wolfsburg in 2015 as the Wolkswagen club was looking for a replacement for Kevin De Bruyne.


It is probably fair to say that if he was that good, Bayern Munich would have signed him. Was one of two players, Benedikt Höwedes was the other, involved when a Mercedes PR stunt went horribly wrong pre-World Cup in 2014.

Draxler was travelling with the Formula 1 driver Nico Rosberg when two people were hit by one of the cars and had to be taken to hospital.