Schalke 04 playmaker Julian Draxler says he is not surprised Arsenal did not pay his £37m release clause last season, following a poor campaign for the German international.

Draxler provided just two goals and six assists for a Schalke side who finished third in the Bundesliga last season, during which the 20-year-old's future at the club was under constant scrutiny.

Arsenal were heavily linked with a move for Draxler during the January transfer window but a deal reportedly fell through after the north London club refused to match the player's release clause.

And Draxler admits that his performances have not justified such an inflated valuation.

"The [buy-out clause] stayed with me," he told Bild. "I did not play like 20 clubs were ready to pay this sum for me last season. I have to become attractive to big clubs again.

"This season, 10 goals should be possible for me. If our squad stays together, we can compete for the top three places. We can compete with Dortmund and Bayern."

Rumours regarding Arsenal's interest in Draxler have since dampened, despite the youngster playing a brief role in Germany winning the World Cup this summer.

The signing of Mesut Ozil last summer and Alexis Sanchez 12 months on has reduced the Gunners' need for additional creativity and coupled with Draxler's poor run of form, the club are looking to improve other areas of the team.

Callum Chambers, Mathieu Debuchy and David Ospina have also joined Arsenal this summer as the club prepare for a renewed assault on the Premier League title, a race which manager Arsene Wenger expects to be as competitive as ever.

"It could be more competitive, yes," he said. "Man United will certainly come back into it, so if you have six teams to fight for the championship that would mean that every other game will be of a huge importance.

"It means there could be even more importance not to drop points against the teams who don't compete for the championships.

"When you look at the Premier League last year, it was down to one or two games won or lost and nobody can predict it. I think there were four teams in the race last year and there could be five or six this season."