Cologne - With the 2015/16 Bundesliga season on the doorstep, we figured it prime time to take a closer look at some of the German top flight's most talked about summer signings.
This time our attention turns to FC Augsburg’s Philipp Max, who has joined the Bavarians as they go into the new campaign competing on three fronts...
Zero to hero
When it comes to signing talented young left-backs from a second division club, Augsburg have previous. This time last year they recruited Abdul Rahman Baba from Greuther Fürth, and with more fixtures on the calendar this season due to securing qualification for the UEFA Europa League, FCA quickly identified their ideal candidate to provide competition and cover on the left side of defence.
Max arrives on a two-year deal from Karlsruher SC. A relatively unknown player outside Bundesliga 2 circles at the start of 2014/15, the 21-year-old developed so well over the course of the season he did not miss a match – and barely a minute – from Matchday 15 onwards. “We’re delighted to have brought in a young, talented German player,” said Augsburg sporting director Stefan Reuter. “Last season at Karlsruhe he progressed extremely well and we’re convinced he can continue on that path with us and take the next step forward.”
Football in the blood
So what was it that clicked for Max? Part of the answer lies in having a lengthy run of games in which to prove himself and adjust to life as a professional player. Even at this stage he has only made 25 first-team appearances, two of which were late cameos during a stint at FC Schalke 04.
Furthermore, Max’s father Martin used to play in the Bundesliga himself, having laced his boots for Borussia Mönchengladbach, Schalke and 1860 Munich during the 1990s and the turn of the century. “My dad played a big role in my development,” Max told the official Augsburg website after signing. “I have a lot of contact with him. He’s got so much experience of the Bundesliga so of course he’s an important source of support for me.”
'I want to measure where I'm at'
Max junior is also a product of the FC Bayern München youth academy, so it should come as no surprise that he possesses excellent technique, first touch and awareness. Those attributes, coupled with his speed, agility and stamina, have combined to create a left-back of huge potential.
“I’m really happy the transfer was completed,” Max said. “It’ll be my first year as a professional in the Bundesliga and I want to measure where I’m at in this league.” All the signs so far indicate that both he, and Augsburg, are in for a rewarding season.