Philipp Max's set-pieces for Augsburg are feared all over the Bundesliga. - © © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA
Philipp Max's set-pieces for Augsburg are feared all over the Bundesliga. - © © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA

Philipp Max: Augsburg's assist king on a par with Neymar, Paul Pogba and Kevin De Bruyne

The remarkable rise of Philipp Max continues to amaze, so much so that when the end-of-season awards are being announced, Augsburg's left-back is certain to star.

And it's not just in the Bundesliga that the 24-year-old is setting a formidable standard. With nine assists so far in 2017/18, Max not only leads the way in that category within Germany's top flight, he also stands tall alongside the likes of Paris Saint-Germain's Neymar, Manchester United's Paul Pogba and Manchester City's Kevin de Bruyne in a comparison list of assist providers in Europe's top five leagues. 

Watch: All nine of Max's Bundesliga assists so far in 2017/18

Leading assist providers from Europe's top five leagues

Statistics courtesy of: / /
Statistics correct as of: 16 January 2018

Indeed, United midfield machine Pogba and PSG schemer Neymar - two of the four most expensive players in the world - only rank higher than Max in terms of assists-per-games ratio. The former 1860 Munich, Bayern Munich and Schalke youth-team player is the sole defender on the list and with his nine assists in 18 appearances, is currently setting up a goal every other game.  

What has now become a common sight in the Bundesliga - and a nightmare for those facing him - Max's penetrating drives down the flank followed by inch-perfect crosses, or deadly set-piece deliveries, make him an enormous asset for an Augsburg side sitting seventh in the standings and enjoying one of their best campaigns to date.

In fact, it now seems incredible that prior to the start of the current campaign, Max's first-team place was in no way guaranteed, with Konstantinos Stafylidis eager to fill the full-back berth.

The son of two-time Bundesliga top goalscorer Martin Max, Augsburg's current assist specialist is raising plenty of debate as to whether he should be included in Joachim Löw's Germany squad for the upcoming FIFA World Cup.

"He has taken a giant step here in the past year," Augsburg coach Manuel Baum commented. "I think you could take a look at Philipp [in terms of national team selection] and see how he fits into the overall idea of the Germany team, whose game is largely based on controlled possession."

German Football Association (DFB) assistant coaches Thomas Schneider and Oliver Sorg have been spotted at several Augsburg games this season, doing just that. Should Max continue to draw favourable comparisons with some of the biggest names in world football, taking him to this summer's finals in Russia may be a prospect too tempting to overlook.

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