After helping Greuther Fürth to Bundesliga promotion in 2020/21, winning the U21 Euros and representing Germany at the Olympics, David Raum is now part of Germany's senior squad.
Country: Germany (3 caps)
Despite being born and raised in Nuremberg and joining local club Tuspo Nuremberg aged just four, it was neighbouring city rivals Fürth - just six miles to the west - who noticed Raum within just a year and signed him at five years of age. The then out-and-out midfielder rose through the ranks quickly, scoring 10 goals and providing 12 assists in his final full season with the club's U19s.
By the end of the 2016/17 season, Raum was part of Greuther's first-team squad and made five appearances from left midfield. That number became 20 the following season while he was tested in several positions such as left midfield, right midfield, left-back and even centre-forward. By the start of 2019/20, his third full season in Bundesliga 2, Raum was settled on the left side for Fürth.
In 2020/21, Raum took the league apart. He scored just once but assisted a league-high 15 times to help push Fürth to promotion on the final day. Several Bundesliga clubs showed interest as a result, and Raum signed on the dotted line with Hoffenheim ahead of the 2021/22 season. His first top-flight assist came in the 3-1 victory against Wolfsburg on week six and - having featured in 16 of 17 Hinrunde matches - Raum has five assists and a goal to his name. That maiden Bundesliga strike came in Matchday 15's 2-1 win at Freiburg where Raum scored the opener after just three minutes and then set up Chris Richards' 94th-minute winner in a man of the match performance.
He played in each of the Germany U21 team's games on their way to the European Championship title in the summer of 2021, as well as playing every minute of Germany's campaign at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. His progress was then capped by earning his senior international debut with a seven minute cameo in Germany's 6-0 dismissal of Armenia in 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying. Starts away to North Macedonia and Armenia then also followed in Group J as Germany topped the group and Raum now has three Die Mannschaft caps to his name.
Watch: Raum stars in Hoffenheim's 2-1 win over Freiburg
Plays a bit like: David Alaba
Raum's versatility in the positions he has played and - in left-back and central midfield especially - the positions he is used to playing has an air of David Alaba about it. The majority of Raum's assists in his final Bundesliga 2 campaign with Fürth were from passes rather than crosses, as may have been expected from his left wing-back position.
That midfield past means that Raum is very comfortable on the ball and has the smarts to know when to come inside from his left-back position or when to race down the flank. He possesses the vision to both find his attacking teammates within tight spaces as well as with crosses. Raum is also an aggressive attacking player, using his speed and strength to attack opposition full backs.
Did you know?
Raum was one of only three players to both represent Germany's U21 side at the European Championships in 2021 - going on to win that competition - and the Olympic Games in Japan which followed directly after. The others being Amos Pieper of Arminia Bielefeld and Arne Maier of Augsburg. In total, Raum made 46 appearances across the 2020/21 season.
What they're saying
"David is a highly talented and extremely fast player with a strong left foot who has developed into one of the most sought-after full-backs in Germany thanks to his outstanding performance this season." - Hoffenheim sporting director Alexander Rosen
"Once you've earned that kind of promotion, you soak it up. And when you can play for your own country, that's motivation enough, also because you've seen how much support came from Germany fans. It's not difficult to run yourself into the ground for 120 minutes." - Raum himself on playing for Germany at the Olympics.
"He handles everything very well. David Raum is a boy who has kept his feet on the ground with a great attitude. A very fine guy with his heart in the right place." - Hoffenheim coach Sebastian Hoeneß