Opinion: Julian Draxler needs to grow up | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 04.12.2016
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Opinion: Julian Draxler needs to grow up

Wolfsburg are in big trouble in the Bundesliga. And the man signed to save them after Kevin de Bruyne's departure is failing them and himself, writes DW's Jonathan Harding.

"You can only imagine what these whistles do to a person," Julian Draxler said after every touch of his 12-minute cameo against Hertha Berlin on Saturday was met with disapproval from the home fans. It must have been tough for the 23-year-old. Coming off the bench in the cold in an attempt to help his team is never easy, but to do so to the sound of whistles from your own fans? Unthinkable.

Perhaps those fans were so unhappy because Draxler has spent more time moaning about how much he wants to leave Wolfsburg than he has helping improve the situation. The fact is, not only is Draxler not playing well at the moment but his performances make his discontent apparent. In August, Draxler went public about his desire to leave Wolfsburg after the club's sporting director Klaus Allofs said he was going nowhere and here we are, nearly four months later, with Draxler working directly against the club once again.

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Jonathan Harding

Anyone who signs for 35 million euros ($37.3m) should be working harder than everyone else at the club, leading by example and driving them forward. Instead, Draxler is whinging like a baby because things haven't gone as he'd hoped and, surprise, surprise, he doesn't like it.

If you realize you've made a mistake, then you deal with it and work towards making it work for you - which I imagine is a lot easier with no financial concerns. For Draxler, the solution to his woes is clearly a move away from the club but it seems the penny hasn't dropped that his best chance of doing that is by playing well, regularly. Something that, contrary to current form, he can do - as last season's Champions League campaign and his sparkling Euro 2016 campaign showed.

Contrast Draxler's behaviour with that of Robert Lewandowski. When the striker decided to leave Borussia Dortmund in 2014, he kept performing right until the end and was rewarded with a respectful and somewhat emotional farewell from the BVB fans, despite his imminent move to bitter rivals Bayern Munich.

At the weekend, Draxler had more to say: "It's out of the question that someone wouldn't have problems to perform after that." Is it out of the question that you might just put your head down and play well for a bit rather than moan about disappointed you are? If it is, then both club and player are in real trouble.

Really though, what does all it say about Draxler's character that, not only was he dropped against one of the most in-form sides in the league, but that this is his reaction? 

As if it were neccessary, Draxler re-iterated on Saturday that he made his "feelings clear in the summer and I stand by that." What's equally clear is what Wolfsburg must do next. Allofs said last month that Wolfsburg would be open to selling Draxler if they receive offers during January's winter break. They must cash in. They'll be lucky to be rid of him at this rate.

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