Julian Draxler

Schalke 04 on Friday announced that German international winger Julian Draxler has extended his deal with the Gelsenkirchen club until June 2018.

“It is 100 percent a decision taken from the heart,” said Draxler, who will change his number 31 jersey for the number nine shirt next season.

The 19-year-old local boy, who has been capped four times at full international level, is widely regarded as one of Europe’s most promising players and had been linked to a number of the continent’s biggest sides.

He made his top-flight debut in January 2011 at the age of just 17 years and 117 days, making him the youngest player in Schalke’s history in the Bundesliga.

He has since gone on to make 74 appearances, including 29 this season, in which he has also scored nine goals.

Draxler was pre-selected by Joachim Loew for the Germany squad for Euro 2012. He made his full international debut in a pre-tournament friendly against Switzerland, but didn’t make the final cut for Poland and Ukraine.

Schalke host VfB Stuttgart on Saturday hoping to wrap up fourth place in the Bundesliga, which brings with it a place in next season’s Champions League play-offs.

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