·26 November 2022
·26 November 2022
Real Madrid’s left-back position is arguably the most debated in the team. It is a spot that has been held by Ferland Mendy almost since he arrived at the club, with the likes of Sergio Reguilon and Miguel Gutierrez moving on in search of more opportunities.
With the signing of Antonio Rudiger in the summer, many had expected David Alba to shift cross to his former role at left-back, where he operated for much of his time at Bayern Munich. However Alaba seems keen to remain in central defence and compete with Rudiger and Eder Militao for his spot.
Mendy has performed well for the most part at Real Madrid, providing solid defensive play and proving almost unbeatable in one-on-ones. However his attacking production has left something to be desired at times, rarely getting outside of Vinicius Junior to provide an overlap. For most Real Madrid fans, left-back is the easiest position in the team to improve.
Speaking to Marca in a recent interview, talented young German left-back David Raum was asked about Los Blancos, and he answered with a grin. It should be said there have been no links between the two.
“It would be a dream, perhaps. I don’t want to close any doors. I am very happy at Leipzig, but Madrid is an insane club.”
Raum is a curious story, having played as a forward until he was 19 years old, he was converted to left-back at Greuther Furth in the second division. His good performances attracted the attention of Hoffenheim, where he only lasted 12 months before RB Leipzig acquired him for €26m.
The 24-year-old has been one of the most impressive performers in the division since moving to the Bundesliga. It has earned him a place in Hansi Flick’s German World Cup squad, after making his debut just a year ago. It was his overlapping run that won a penalty for Germany against Japan before they ultimately fell to defeat.
Raum’s key attributes are with the ball. His ability to go on the outside of the winger and play accurate crosses is highly valuable. Last season he had 11 assists in the Bundesliga and dominated most of the attacking statistics at Hoffenheim, even if he has been less productive for Leipzig this season.
Having played in central midfield, Raum handles the ball comfortably. Capable of taking and moving the ball comfortably, it would allow Real Madrid to play out under pressure more comfortably than perhaps they can with Mendy.
It is also true that Raum does not put up the same defensive numbers as the Frenchman. In terms of tackles and interceptions, he compares fairly poorly to his peers. His tendency to be aggressive in the challenge is an advantage for teams pressing high, but can lead to mistakes in defence too. Often he is used as a left wing-back rather than a pure full-back, which helps further contextualise his numbers and approach.
Raum could be a fine double act with Mendy. As Los Blancos look to break down deeper opponents or overwhelm their opposition, Raum would no doubt provide more threat than Mendy. For fixtures or moments where Los Blancos are due to defend more, Mendy might be more appropriate.
Whether Real Madrid are willing to invest the sufficient money to extract Raum from Leipzig, likely in excess of €40m, seems improbable if he is not to be a guaranteed starter. However they did do so with Eder Militao, allowing him to learn first and grow into the side. In addition, Carlo Ancelotti likes to use a smaller group of 16 or 17 core players, and Raum’s addition would perhaps make that more difficult.
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