Why Manchester United interest in ‘energetic presser’ Konrad Laimer would make sense

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With Manchester United making the midfield a priority in this up and coming transfer window, it’s easy to see why RB Leipzig’s Konrad Laimer is reportedly attracting their attention. He’s been one of Bundesliga’s star players in recent months and a driving force behind Leipzig’s surge up the table.

The German side made a slow start to the campaign, and manager Jesse Marsch paid the price when relieved of his duties in December. Domenico Tedesco has had a transformational impact since taking his place, however, reflected in the fact that his side have lost just once in the whole of 2022 so far.

Laimer has been key to that revival. The 24-year-old is originally a product of RB Salzburg’s brilliant academy. He made his debut at just 17 for the Austrian side and enjoyed three impressive years there, the last of which saw him named Austria’s Bundesliga Player of the Season.

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He made what is a familiar switch from Salzburg to Leipzig that summer — one that Ralf Rangnick knows about himself — and didn’t take long to thrive under Julian Nagelsmann, now of Bayern Munich. Although injuries have at times hampered his career in Germany, he’s now back fit again and in formidable form.

In terms of his profile, the 24-year-old is best summarised as an energetic presser who darts around the middle of the pitch scooping up loose balls and breaking up opposition attacks. For Leipzig, no player has made more Bundesliga defensive pressures than Laimer (34.2 per 90 minutes) this season.

He is usually utilised in a midfield pair in either a 3-5-2 or 4-2-3-1 formation, though his versatility means he can play a number of different midfield roles. While his influence without the ball is one of his best assets, Laimer offers plenty with it too — particularly when it comes to driving through the lines and carrying his team up the pitch. His average of 6.54 progressive carries per 90 is bettered by just one other Leipzig player.

Laimer’s game has rarely in the past been about scoring or assisting, predominantly due to the deep position he plays on the pitch and eight goal contributions is the highest he’s accumulated in a single Bundesliga season so far.

However, when granted more freedom — like he’s been given in recent weeks by Tedesco — he can be a lethal presence inside the final third. He’s scored four goals and registered two assists across his last six club appearances.

From a United recruitment perspective, Laimer ticks many boxes and it’s easy to see how he could substantially improve their midfield should he arrive this summer.

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