While Manchester United do have other priorities this summer, it is possible that the club will make a move for a left-back having been linked to Feyenoord’s Tyrell Malacia and most recently, Hoffenheim’s David Raum.
Date of Birth: 22/04/1998 (24)
Strong Foot: Left
Height: 1.80 m (5ft 10in)
Who is David Raum?Embed from Getty Images
Raum is a 24-year-old German left-back currently plying his trade in the Bundesliga at Hoffenheim. In the 2020/21 season, Raum played a crucial part in helping Greuther Fürthget get promoted to the Bundesliga. He registered 15 assists that season which was a League-high. He then joined Hoffenheim last summer and has since been a revelation for the German club. His brilliant performances for Hoffenheim quickly earned him a place in the German national team, making his debut for his country in September 2021. He’s since gone on to make another 8 appearances for Germany since.
After an exhilarating season at Hoffenheim, it’s possible that Raum will leave the club having attracted interest from some of Europe’s biggest clubs including United. According to Sky Germany reporter Florian Plettenberg, United want to sign Raum and signing Raum and Hoffenheim reportedly want a fee in the region of €35 million.
StrengthsEmbed from Getty Images
Raum’s biggest strength is his ability going forward. The German registered 11 assists during the 2021/22 Bundesliga season – the 5th most by any player. He also created 19 big chances in the Bundesliga last season which is 11 more than Tyrell Malacia who’s also been linked to Old Trafford.
Over the last year, he’s averaged 4.18 shot-creating actions and 5.44 crosses per 90. He ranks amongst the best in his position for both stats. He’s also a fairly good dribbler and is also extremely quick. In addition to this, he is also a competent set-piece taker which is something United could use having struggled massively from attacking set-pieces last season. Raum is also really good at playing passes to switch the play. Over the last year, he’s averaged an impressive 2.58 switches.
As good as Raum is offensively, he does need to improve a lot defensively. While he is solid positionally, his overall defensive game needs improvement. His tackling ability isn’t the best and he does also get dribbled past too easily at times. He doesn’t also make as many interceptions, blocks and clearances compared to other full-backs. He also only won 52% of his ground duels last season in the Bundesliga which is quite poor. Aerially, the 24-year-old isn’t the best either having won less than 50% of his aerial duels last season.
Where would he fit in at United?Embed from Getty Images
While the left-back position may not be a priority, it’s still a position that needs strengthening. Alex Telles has struggled massively during his time at United and the club are reportedly open to listening to offers for Brandon Williams.
If United do sign Raum, he’d give Luke Shaw competition for his spot at left-back. Raum and Shaw would be two great left-back options to have. While Shaw had a disappointing 2021/22 campaign, he was sensational throughout the 2020/21 season and followed that up with some brilliant performances at the Euros for England.
As Shaw is better defensively, he would probably be best suited to the games against elite teams who will attack United more. Against teams lower down the table, Raum’s attacking ability would be great.
VerdictEmbed from Getty Images
While there’s no doubting that Raum is an exciting player, €35m on a left-back is a lot of money especially as United have more serious issues to address.
It’s still to be seen whether United will even make a move for a left-back this summer as the club are targeting an attacker, possibly two midfielders and a centre-back. While the full-back positions do need strengthening, it may be an issue that will have to wait till January or maybe even next summer to be resolved.
However, with Raum possibly set to make a transfer this summer, United may have to move quickly to secure his signature.