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Manchester United Target €20m Rated Bundesliga Defender | How Does the Full-back Fits Under Erik Ten Hag’s System

David Raum, Manchester United

A busy July awaits Manchester United as they get linked with TSG Hoffenheim left-back David Raum for a summer transfer ahead of the 2022/23 season.

While the Red Devils are yet to sign a player in this transfer window, they are reportedly expecting a busy month amidst the pre-season fixtures, with the club on the verge of completing a deal for long-term target Frenkie de Jong before the end of June. However, with manager Erik ten Hag keen on roping in, at least, three more signings, United will be looking to fulfil the Dutchman’s expectations ahead of the new season.

While the club are reportedly prioritizing the arrival of a centre-back and forward following De Jong’s expected arrival, United have been strongly linked as a potential destination for Hoffenheim left-back David Raum in recent weeks. According to Sport Witness, David Raum is said to have already held talks with Manchester United, with the club “pushing” to make the transfer materialise.

David Raum, TSG Hoffenheim, Manchester United
Image Obtained Via Team Talk

With the Red Devils amongst the interested parties alongside Borussia Dortmund, Hoffenheim are reported to be open to sanctioning the sale of the 24-year-old German international despite his long-term contract (till 2026), provided a club meets his valuation this summer.

A fruitful season with Hoffenheim saw the left-back make his senior international debut last year. Known for his ball progression, passing, and crossing ability into the 18-yard-box, the left-back – valued at €30 million – is likely to add a refreshing dynamic to United in terms of consistency in ball progression down the left flank provided he finds himself at Old Trafford next season.

A Forward-Thinking Left-Back

Amongst his envious list of attributes, Raum’s ability to take the ball forward into the attacking third combined with his consistency in delivering accurate crosses and key passes has seen him steadily rise through the ranks in the Bundesliga.

Prior to securing a move to Hoffenheim, the left-back played a crucial role in contributing to Greuther Fürth’s promotion to the Bundesliga, as he registered 15 assists – a league-best – during the 2020/21 season. A move to Hoffenheim soon followed, with Raum’s consistency establishing him as a notable prospect in the German top division last season.

David Raum
(Fig 1.0) Sprints Completed: David Raum vs Top 10 Full-Backs In The Bundesliga (2021/22) (Image Courtesy:

Registering 3 goals and 13 assists alongside having created 19 big chances for Hoffenheim last season (stats via transfermarkt), the 24-year-old’s ability going forward shone through, resulting in clubs across Europe registering an interest in his services. A knack for taking on opposition players whilst consistently making runs down the wing, all while serving as a progressive figure in the build-up play has seen him register impressive stats in the recent season.

For instance, the figure below (1.0) charts the sprinting stats comprising full-backs during the 21/22 Bundesliga campaign, with Raum topping the list; showcasing his ability to cope with the physical demands required to function in an attacking side.

Progression & Creativity

Moreover, with an envious end product in addition to his reliability in the build-play, the left-back continues to develop into a modern-day full-back, capable of keeping in with the demands of a versatile system. Alongside registering 4.18 shot-creating actions (99th percentile), 4.99 progressive passes (99th percentile), and 5.44 crosses (99th percentile) per 90 minutes, Raum is renowned for his ability to progress the ball into danger zones or combine with his teammates to move up the pitch when necessary.

As evident from the figures below (Fig. 1.1, 1.2, 1.3), the German international boasts exceptional ability in contributing to the team’s progressive play and serve as a creative figure in producing goal-scoring opportunities for his teammates.

David Raum
(Fig 1.1) David Raum Progressive Passes (2021/22) (Image Courtesy: Manav
David : Dangerous Ball Creation (2021/22), David Raum, Manchester United
(Fig 1.2) David Raum: Dangerous Ball Creation (2021/22) (Image Courtesy: Manav
(Fig 1.3) David Raum: Passing Range And Creativity (2021/22) (Image Courtesy: Manav

Besides, the 24-year-old also retains a healthy percentage in delivering key passes, long passes, and assists during the attacking phase of play. For instance, Raum ranks in the 99th and 91st percentile for key and long passes respectively, having delivered 2.61 key passes per game, last season – best amongst his teammates. Additionally, the left-back boats notable stats for crosses delivered into the golden zone (Fig 1.4) whilst also boasting other commendable numbers – averaging 48.18 passes per 90, last season.

(Fig 1.4) David Raum: Crosses And Passes Into The ‘Golden Zone’ (2021/22) (Image Courtesy: Manav

Although having primarily served as a wing-back at Hoffenheim, the underlying statistics suggest that David Raum boasts comparably better numbers (Fig 1.5) than the current first-choice left-back at Manchester United i.e. Luke Shaw.

Having emerged as a reliable performer for Hoffenheim, the 24-year-old has proven to be an exponential source of creativity in recent seasons. However, with clear defensive frailties in his game owing to his questionable body positioning and sloppy footwork, Raum is yet to perfect the execution of his defensive duties efficiently.

David Raum, Luke Shaw
(Fig 1.5) David Raum Vs Luke Shaw Comparison (2021/22) (Image Courtesy: Manav

Defensive Weaknesses

While Raum remains a positionally reliable wing-back, the German international’s inadequacy in engaging with tackles has seen him being dribbled pasts on numerous occasions throughout the last season. While he ranks decently in defensive actions (3.56 per game), the left-back falls short in producing a notable number of blocks (34th percentile), clearances (35th percentile), and interceptions (26th percentile) per 90 minutes.

As evident from the figure below (Fig 1.6, 1.7), Raum’s responsibility in serving as a figure inclined towards supplementing the attack has seen his defensive stats dwindle over the last season.

(Fig 1.6) David Raum’s Defensive Application (2021/22) (Image Courtesy: Manav
(Fig 1.7) Ball Clearing From Danger Zones: David Raum Vs Defenders From Top 5 Leagues (2021/22) (Image Courtesy: Manav

Moreover, with most of his touches being registered in the attacking third (Fig 1.8), Raum is known to thrive in an attacking role. Despite his defensive shortcomings, the left-back’s ability to contribute in key phases of play – 871 touches in the attacking third (94th percentile per 90 minutes) – alongside serving as a goal threat places him amongst the best performing attacking full-backs across Europe in recent seasons.

(Fig 1.8) David Raum’s Touches (2021/22) (Image Courtesy: Manav


With both Luke Shaw and Alex Telles having endured an inconsistent 21/22 campaign, United’s search for a left-back seems justified. Given Ten Hag’s need for a full-back capable of covering ground alongside possessing excellent technical ability and understanding of his role, Raum emerges as a sensible candidate to fulfil the manager’s duty.

Moreover, with reports of Manchester United having listed Telles on the transfer market, a move for David Raum could see United possess two distinct left-backs capable of fulfilling the manager’s requirements next season.

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However, with Dortmund expected to provide stiff competition alongside the possibility of the transfer fee being hiked given the interest shown by Manchester United, it remains to be seen if the Red Devils pursue a move for David Raum this summer, having previously registered an interest in Feyenoord’s Tyrell Malacia following the appointment of Ten Hag earlier this year.

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