Julian Draxler’s concerns about what the “pressure and expectation” at Schalke would mean for his long-term career prompted his move to Wolfsburg.
The highly rated youngster signed a five-year deal with Wolfsburg on the Bundesliga’s Deadline Day, ending his 14-year association with boyhood club Schalke.
The attacking midfielder has long been rated a future stalwart for Germany, while many at the Veltins Arena expected him to be critical to Schalke’s hopes of a breakthrough Bundesliga title.
But after an injury-affected 2014-15, Draxler found the pressure at Schalke debilitating.
“I became convinced that I would not manage to withstand the pressure and expectation at Schalke,” he told Kicker.
“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.”
Draxler left Schalke after 119 league appearances across just over five seasons, with Wolfsburg – who finished second last term – snapping up the 21-year-old after a move to Juventus fell through.
With the likes of Andre Schurrle, Max Kruse, Vieirinha and Daniel Caligiuri to challenge him for a spot in Dieter Hecking’s Wolfsburg line-up, Draxler reckons the Lower Saxony-based club will force him to improve.
“I have the feeling I now must provide even more in training to get games,” he said.
“This is exactly what I need.”
Draxler added: “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.”