Newly signed Wolfsburg winger Julian Draxler has admitted to the pressure and expectation at former club Schalke as the reasons that convinced him to a move away from his boyhood club.
The 21-year-old ended his 14-year association with the Royal Blues this summer, and is of the opinion the demands on him at Schalke were too high for his liking.
“I became convinced that I would not manage to withstand the pressure and expectation at Schalke,” Draxler was quoted as saying to Kicker by FourFourTwo.
Draxler suffered from four separate injuries during the course of the 2014/15 season which meant he missed the majority of the season where Schalke finished sixth in the Bundesliga. He also opened up on the pressure on him to perform at the highest level even during an injury-plagued campaign.
“Even after six months of injury, I felt that I should decide matches almost single-handedly. Because of that I realised that it was time to go, and there are other ways of doing things,” he added.
Draxler made only 15 appearances in the league last season, scoring two goals. He feels he was hindered by the need to deal with other non-football related things while he was at Schalke.
“At some point [with Schalke] I had the feeling that I am personally being rather hindered because I’ve had to deal with many things other than football,” said Draxler.
The Germany international, who won the World Cup last year, feels liberated at his new club and their newer surroundings, and has even talked up the competitive atmosphere at Wolfsburg which he feels is exactly what he needs at this stage of his career.
“I have the feeling I now must provide even more in training to get games.
“This is exactly what I need.”
It has been almost a year since Draxler last played for Germany when he featured in their Euro 2016 qualifier against Ireland at Schalke’s Veltins Arena. With next summer’s Euro 2016 looming, Draxler is running out of time to stake his claim for a spot in Joachim Low’s side and the pressure-free environment at Wolfsburg will go a long way in helping him reach his targets.