Manchester United have entered the battle to sign David Raum from TSG Hoffenheim.
Reports suggest that the left wing-back has caught the eye of a number of Premier League clubs including Manchester City, however according to Sky in Germany, United’s main competitors appear to be Borussia Dortmund.
Raum has enjoyed a meteoric rise to stardom in the past couple of seasons, having played in the second tier of the German football pyramid just two seasons ago. He is now in contention to start for the German National Team in the upcoming World Cup.
His creative output is a major factor in this development – last season he provided 11 assists and 3 goals for Hoffenheim in his first ever top-flight campaign.
His overall involvement in attacking play is also something of an anomaly among defenders. Last season, the 24-year-old provided the final or penultimate pass leading up to a shot on goal on 82 occasions – a statistic in which only Bayern Munich’s Thomas Muller betters him.
His attacking output out wide and on the by-line is, quite frankly, absurd:
Most dangerous passers by zone | Bundesliga 21-22
•Raum's numbers aren't a typo
•Diaby (1.26) & Gnabry (1.22) rank 2nd & 3rd respectively behind Muller for xT accumulated in that right half-space
•Gvardiol is progressive on the ball & attempts a high volume
Feedback welcome! pic.twitter.com/SZPipCKtRT
— Yash (@Odriozolite) June 12, 2022
The Red Devils have long looked on enviously at the attacking output provided by the likes of Joao Cancelo and Andy Robertson at rival clubs, but as the above graphic shows, the left-hand side would be revitalised with such a dangerous overlapper.
Dortmund were thought to be strong favourites for Raum, however it appears that, having already signed five first team players this summer, they would not be able to meet Hoffenheim’s €40m asking price.
There is also the issue of room in the squad, with left-backs Raphael Guerreiro and Nico Schulz still on the books and well paid.
In United’s case, Erik ten Hag simply must improve upon his options at full-back, with a grand total of seven assists coming from the four players in those positions combined last season, with no Premier League goals.
Raum would no doubt be transformative in improving those attacking numbers, although he is not the only exciting talent under observation for the position, with Tyrell Malacia also of interest.