Manchester United’s first signing of 2022 could be a back-up goalkeeper. Fabrizio Romano reports talks are ongoing with Watford’s Daniel Bachmann over a move.
Bachmann would help deputise for David de Gea, with Tom Heaton in the mix too. The veteran was United’s first signing in 2021, before more important signings followed.
So while a move for Bachmann doesn’t feel at all exciting, he could well be heading to Old Trafford, so let’s learn more about the potential addition…
Bachmann played 12 Premier League games for Watford last season, serving as Ben Foster’s back-up. He did not play in either game against Manchester United.
Playing in a poor Watford team meant he conceded 28 goals in 12 games, more than Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson (24) conceded all season in 36 matches.
He completed 39 per cent of passes of 40 yards or more, a slight improvement on David de Gea’s 34 per cent, per FBRef.
Bachmann claimed three crosses in 12 games, compared to David de Gea’s eight crosses in 38 games.
The goalkeeper’s performances in a more dominant Watford side in the Championship in 2020/21 are more encouraging, where he played 23 games in a side which won automatic promotion.
Bachmann had the best ‘goals against per 90’ rate of any stopper in the division with 0.57, and the second best save percentage, 76.1 per cent.
In the Premier League this dipped a to 63.8 per cent save percentage, while David de Gea’s last season was 69.5 per cent, outside the top 10 in the league, with Wolves’ Jose Sa ranking highest on 79 per cent.
Bachmann has 13 international caps for Austria, in which he has four clean sheets. Two of these were against Faroe Islands and Moldova, with the other two against Ukraine and Slovakia.
The clean sheet against Ukraine came at Euro 2020, where Bachmann was Austria’s first choice, helping them reach the last 16. This has now changed.
Bachmann was not called up into Austria’s recent international squad by Ralf Rangnick, who evidently was not too impressed by what he saw of the 27-year-old in the Premier League last season.
Bachmann has plenty of experience in the UK, coming through the academy at Stoke City after joining the club from Austria Vienna when he was a teenager.
He played for Stoke’s under-18 and under-21 sides but did not make a first team appearance for the club, spending three different spells out on loan.
His loans were at Bury, Wrexham and Ross County, playing in England, Scotland and Wales, before Watford snapped him up on a free transfer in 2017.
After a loan spell at Kilmarnock, Bachmann earned a chance at Watford, where he has played 41 first team games, under five different managers.