Transfer Window Closed: Assessing Leverkusen’s Squad

With the transfer window now closed until January, it's time to look at the business done by Rudi Voller and Roger Schmidt.

It's been a busy summer at BayArena, with plenty of players coming and going, but what sort of shape is the Bayer 04 Leverkusen squad in now that all business has been concluded?

The big news for fans of die Werkself is that the team's fan favourites are still there. Bernd Leno, Lars Bender, Karim Bellarabi and Hakan Calhanoglu have all been linked with moves away from the club, but thankfully these rumours proved unwarranted. Calhanoglu was reportedly subject to a last minute bid from Manchester United, but whether there is any truth to the stories is unclear.

One fan favourite did move on, however. South Korean winger Heung-Min Son has joined Tottenham Hotspur for €30million, a price the club just couldn't turn down. Also departing late on in the window was Australian forward Robbie Kruse, who has joined VfB Stuttgart on loan for the season. Kruse has had a torrid time with injury in recent years, and this move should allow him to get some regular football under his belt.

Coming into the club are some very exciting signings. Kevin Kampl has arrived from Borussia Dortmund to add some strength and fight to midfield, while perhaps the most exciting of all is the arrival of Javier Hernandez. Kampl was formerly part of the Leverkusen U23 team, before playing for Roger Schmidt at Red Bull Salzburg. Schmidt wanted the player last winter, but lost out to Dortmund. Kampl will provide excellent cover for the unfortunate Charles Aranguiz.

Mexican international Hernandez turned down West Ham United to join Schmidt's increasingly exciting project, and could well bring that much needed quality when it comes to putting the ball in the net. A clinical poacher, Hernandez has the happy knack of finding himself in the right place to finish off a chance, something the side have definitely been missing.

One area that I was expecting to be strengthened was central defence, but no new additions have been made. There were several players linked with a move, including Bayern's Dante and Mamadou Sakho of Liverpool, but this is the one area where the squad looks slightly stretched. With Omer Toprak and Tin Jedvaj out injured, that leaves only Kyriakos Papadopoulos and Jonathan Tah as out and out centre backs.

Defensive shortcomings in the squad aside, the summer window has been a success for the club, on paper at least. If the new arrivals deliver on their potential, this is going to be a very exciting season indeed!


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