Football Features

Fortuna Dusseldorf’s ‘rocket-fuelled’ Belgian could push Arsenal or Everton to new levels

By Chris Smith

Published: 12:56, 22 April 2019

Arsenal and Everton are set to lead to the chase for Fortuna Dusseldorf forward, Benito Raman, according to reports.

The Belgian can play anywhere across the front three and has been vital to Dusseldorf’s comfortable campaign in mid-table this season, scoring 23.08% of their Bundesliga goals.

However, with Dusseldorf cash-strapped and needing to sell players this summer to raise finances, Raman looks set to leave given he is one of their most valuable assets, carrying a reported asking price of around £13m.

With Alex Iwobi the only out-and-out winger at the Emirates right now, Unai Emery is in desperate need of more options to service Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette up front.

Everton, meanwhile, have Richarlison playing wide-left, but are thought to be in the market for a right-winger with ex-Gunner Theo Walcott in very disappointing form for much of this season and now being linked with a summer move to MLS.

The Toffees do also have Ademola Lookman at their disposal, but his sparing use by Marco Silva has led to rumours of a rift and distrust between the two.

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Raman, who has 35 caps for Belgium across various youth levels, is one of the fastest players in the Bundesliga and clocked up 53 sprints during a 3-0 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt on matchday 25. Furthermore, as Arsenal loanee Reiss Nelson has tailed off at Hoffenheim, scoring just once in his last 14 appearances after initially bagging six in his first 12, Raman has pressed on.

The 24-year-old has five goals and three assists in his last nine Bundesliga games and with Dusseldorf needing to sell, he will surely be casting an eye over the English clubs said to be going for him – a list which also includes West Ham United and Burnley.

“It’s my goal to play at [the] Premier League someday. I think it’s the best league in the world.”

Benito Raman on his Premier League ambitions

Given that this is only his second season in the Bundesliga, having spent last season on loan at the Merkur Spiel-Arena, Raman has certainly done a fine job in making his presence felt, with Dusseldorf manager, Friedhelm Funkel, suggesting the best is yet to come.

“He successfully integrated himself into the team in double-quick time and enhanced our attack with his pace, tireless running, goals and assists,” he said recently.

“He’s an even better player in the Bundesliga because of his speed on the counter and is already an important part of the team, but he has the potential to get even better.”

That speed on the break could prove vital for either Arsenal or Everton. Although Emery and Silva play predominantly possession-based systems, both their sides have had spells this season where they have been stifled and cancelled out.

A change of pace, either early on from the start or off the bench to replace tired legs, could give both sides a new edge in their respective goals for next season: Arsenal, to establish themselves among the Premier League’s top four and Everton, to break into the supposed ‘big six’.

Back in January, Emery admitted Arsenal are in need of wingers and Raman’s comparatively low price, electrifying pace and proven end product in a top European league would make him an attractive prospect for any Premier League buyer.

The official Bundesliga website describes Raman as ‘rocket-fuelled’. He could just be the injection Arsenal or Everton need to find success next season.