Premier League target set for lengthy injury lay-off

Schalke midfielder Julian Draxler is expected to be sidelined for the remainder of the year after suffering a thigh injury in a Bundesliga fixture against Augsburg on Friday, the club has confirmed.

The 21 year-old – who has frequently been linked with moves to Premier League clubs Arsenal and Liverpool – was on the pitch for just 11 seconds before pulling up, and Schalke’s director of football Horst Heldt has indicated that the talented youngster could face some time out of action.

“He was again injured and it looks like a serious muscle injury,” said Heldt.

“I do not expect Julian to play any more in this first half of the season.”

The news is a major setback for new Schalke manager Roberto Di Matteo – formerly of Chelsea and West Bromwich Albion – as Draxler is an integral member of the side, having scored twice in the German league already this season.

He is now expected to miss all of Schalke’s remaining Champions League group stage games, as well as Germany’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Gibraltar later this month.