JULIAN DRAXLER sent Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger a stark reminder of what he missed out on by letting him join PSG Last week with a brilliant first-time finish on his Ligue 1 debut.
The 2014 World Cup winner was chased by Wenger for a number of years and it seemed almost inevitable that the Emirates boss would one day land the classy midfielder.
But the 23-year-old left Wolfsburg for Paris for £38m and instantly looked at home in his new shirt with a debut goal in the 7-0 cup hammering of Bastia on January 7.
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And Draxler’s first league goal came on the third time he and Italian Chelsea transfer target Marco Verratti had teamed up with Unai Emery’s team starting to gel after a slow start to the domestic campaign.
After a pinpoint cross-field pass from Verratti on 40 minutes, Draxler unleashed a curling shot from the corner of the area which bent around the defence.
Even Rennes stopper, Benoit Costil, at full stretch leaping across his goal could not stop the fizzing shot from nestling inside the post.
Draxler had already dummied a defender and shot at goal from a long Verratti pass early on but his effort had been too close to Costil.
Then, on the half-hour, Verratti was booked for a dive in the area when a perfect Draxler through ball forced the Rennes ‘keeper into a rash challenge, which may have warranted a spot-kick had the Italian actually waited for contact before hitting the turf.
PSG had a second player booked for diving in the area in the second half with Thiago Motta also going into referee Benoit Bastien’s book.
Coach Christian Gourcuff’s seventh placed Rennes could not be accused of rolling over for the champions, as they attacked Paris throughout with their trademark slick passing game.
They were desperately missing forward Paul-George Ntep, who has gone to Wolfsburg to try to fill the gap left by Draxler.
Benjamin Andre forced a late save out of PSG stopper Kevin Trapp on 80 minutes and Adrien Rabiot, on as a substitute for Draxler on 73, saw a flash shot saved at the other end.
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