Category Archives: Bayer 04 Players on loan

Review of individual performances and new transfers

Club boss Wolfgang Holzhäuser said this week in an interview on Bayer04-TV that the first stage of the squad planning for the next season has finalized. Additional transfers could happen if injuries occur or the new coach Robin Dutt sees in the preseason a need to improve a certain position.

However, according to the German Press we have no further room for investments into our squad.  The guaranteed sum of around 20 million euros for playing the group-stage of the Champions League is already used up.  The transfer of Schürrle (8-10 million euros), the stadium upgrade (costs: around 80 million euros, financed by a 0% interest loan from the Bayer AG), contract extensions and generous investments in new players at times where the Werkself did not play internationally could mean that we will not see further spectacular signings this summer apart from André Schürrle.  

Transfer Balance
negative= Expenditure in Transfers > Income from Transfers
Income from Transfers > Expenditure in Transfers

currently Season 2011/12: -10.200.000 €
Season 2010/11: +850.000 € (Winter-Sale of Helmes turned balance positive)
Season 2009/10: -4.950.000 €
Season 2008/09: -7.050.000 €
Season 2007/08: -7.180.000 €
Season 2006/07: +8.270.000 €
Season 2005/06: +1.565.000 €
Season 2004/05: +11.986.000 €
<<W.Holzhäuser substitutes R.Calmund as CEO with the objective to reduce the accumulated debt during our great years>>
Season 2003/04: -1.200.000
Season 2002/03: -13.450.000 € (relegation was avoided in the last fixture)
Season 2001/02: -2.150.000 € (3x

More details>> 

Find below a personal review on the individual season performances of the current squad and new signings; players that will continue on loan or be sold; or have left us this year.


Red= player leaving us
Green= new signing
Blue= future uncertain

Rating= from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest).  

RB= right-back
CB= centre-back
LB= left-back
DM= defensive midfield
RM= right midfield
LM= left midfield
OM= offensive midfield (central)
ST= striker



René Adler: Overall steady from beginning to end with not many point losing mistakes.  Spectacular saves from him have been rare this season compared to other years.  Should extend his contract (running till 2012) in the next 2-3 weeks. *7*

Fabian Giefer: Did a good job when René Adler was out in two Bundesliga and two Europa League games. Good prospects for the future! *6*

Benedikt Fernandez: Played for the reserve team, will move to a 2.Bundesliga team. (contract expires) *no rating*

Tomasz Bobel: No match practice, will leave us too (contract expires). *no rating*

We will need to sign a third goalkeeper or promote one from the youth team.


Gonzalo Castro (RB,LB,LM): Seems to perform at a higher level in midfield, where ball losses and poor positioning are less noticeable. His three goals and seven assists in the Bundesliga, show his offensive potential. *7*

Daniel Schwaab (RB,CB): Was stronger this season in the centre-back position than as right-back. His change of position arose due to Hyypiä’s declining physical form. Great at initiating attacks from defense (can run forward with the ball and play a difficult pass). A quality which Stefan Reinartz and Manuel Friedrich lack. *7*

Stefan Reinartz (CB,DM): Not dynamic enough for the centre-back position, although he improved in the second part of the season. However, quick and agile strikers will continue to have it easy against him. Better off in defensive midfield. *4*

Manuel Friedrich (CB): Had a good stretch of games before the winter break. A shoulder injury made him miss most of the second part of the season. Given his age (32 in August) little room for physical improvement (slow). *5*

Sami Hyypiä (CB): It was an honor to have such a great player in our team. His second season at Bayer 04 was marked by an injury before the winter-break followed by a declining physical form during the rest of the season. Sami decided to renounce his last year of contract as he did not feel confident on playing another season at the level he would like to.  The Finnish player will use next season to obtain his coaching license.  He will work as an assistant to Finland’s national coach Mika-Matti Paatelainen and undergo trainee-ships at different clubs including Bayer 04. In 2012/13 he will join the Werkself as assistant coach for at least two years. *6*

Ömer Toprak (CB): New signing for Leverkusen coming from Freiburg. We have been following this centre-back the last three years.  A severe karting accident at the beginning of 2009 stopped his progression, he was out for over six months.  It took quite a while till he reached the level before the incident, 2010 was surely not his year.   In 2011 he had four decent games over the full distance, but once the news got out that he would move to Leverkusen, his performances dropped again.  Ömer finished the season with a red card, that did not allow him to play the season finale against Bayer 04. *4*

Michal Kadlec (LB,LM): Improved in comparison to last season, but never regained the level of his first year with Bruno Labbadia. Linked with Liverpool in the last months. *7*

Bastian Oczipka (LB,LM): This Bayer youngster has been on loan for three years, first at Hansa Rostock and then St.Pauli. In both clubs he was part of the starting line-up and therefore added 82 league games on both loan spells. Bastian played a great Bundesliga season but suffered a bone injury in the 23rd fixture which put an end to it. He is considered as one of the uprising German talents on the left back position together with Marcel Schmelzer (Dortmund) and Felix Bastians (Freiburg). With his return to Leverkusen, Kadlec will finally have the chance to receive a rest when needed.  As mentioned above he could also be the replacement for the Czech player in case of a transfer to Liverpool.  The initial report of Bild that Oczipka would be sold to Hoffenheim for 3 million Euros was false, the player confirmed his return last week in an interview. *7*

Domagoj Vida (RB,CB): Played only one Bundesliga and eight Europa League games. Solid on the defensive end, Domagoj should concentrate on improving his game going forward, especially passing and centers. Despite having some experience as centre-back in his previous team NK Osijek, Jupp Heynckes did not consider him for this position mainly because of his height (1,82 m), a factor he considers important. If Robin Dutt thinks the same will have to be seen. I expect him to break-through next season, considering that his first year was also marked by the adaptation to a new environment (did not speak any word of English or German when he arrived). *4*

Danny da Costa (RB,CB,RM): The youth player gave a solid debut with the first team against Atletico Madrid. Physically strong and versatile, I hope he gets more minutes next season despite sitting his Baccalaureate. If you look at the current squad: only Adler, Castro and Reinartz have made themselves with a regular place in the team coming from the youth section of Bayer 04. Too little, for a club that is praised nationwide for its excellent work in this area. *no rating*


Arturo Vidal (DM, RB): The Chilean played an extraordinary season with ten goals and nine assists in the league. It is no wonder that he has caught the attention of many big clubs (Bayern, Chelsea, Valencia, Atletico Madrid, Inter/AC Milan…).  Known in the past for too many aggressive fouls and cards, Arturo has managed to finish the Bundesliga season with only four yellows and one yellow-red in 33 games. His contract expires in 2012 and he has so far rejected all contract extension offers. Both Holzhäuser and Völler said recently that he will play so or so next season with us. Is this just a way to increase the price tag or are we really going to hold onto him without seeing a buck next year if he continues to reject a contract extension and signs with another team? *10*

Sidney Sam (RM,LM): One of the best newcomers in the 1.Bundesliga.  Seven goals and three assists is a dream start for him in Germany’s highest division. Jupp Heynckes preferred him to play Robben style (strong left foot) on the right side, will Dutt too? *8*

Simon Rolfes (DM): Had a couple of good games (especially the one against Wolfsburg) when he came back from his injury but in the last matches of the season declined severely and was consequently taken out of the starting line-up. A large proportion of the Fans see him inadequate for the captain role, because he often fails to deliver in big games. They want to see Michael Ballack as captain. I personally doubt that Robin Dutt will have the “balls” to change the leadership in the team.  I would welcome it, but it’s a tough decision that can affect the atmosphere in the team!   *5*

Renato Augusto (RM,OM,LM): With six goals and six assists this was his best season at Leverkusen. Playing in a central position helped him to step-up his game. Renato has learned to minimize his ball losses by avoiding risky dribbling in situations that could lead to a counter-attack. His work against the ball has also improved *9*

Lars Bender (DM): Despite having strong competitors on his position (Rolfes, Vidal and Ballack) Lars played 26 Bundesliga games and fulfilled his role regularly. A player with great prospects for the future. *7*

Hanno Balitsch (RB,DM,CB): His signing was seen skeptical by many fans at the beginning but he quickly turned this around with his fighter nature on the pitch. Great versatile back-up player! *6*

Michael Ballack (DM/OM): Chased by injuries in 2010, he has given the team some stability in the last stretch of games. Hopefully we will see next season the real Ballack giving the team a lot of goals and assists! *6*

Kevin Kampl (DM): The twenty year-old Slovenian youth player did not get a chance to play with the professional team. Future uncertain! *no rating*

Burak Kaplan (RM,LM): Was loaned out to Greuther Fürth (2.Bundesliga) in the winter-break. Despite being technically gifted, he is not making the next step given his difficult character. Jupp Heynckes more than once criticized his attitude in the training sessions. Only played four games in the Europa League in which he did not convince. At Greuther Fürth he scored three goals (all by set-piece) but his loaning spell ended with a disciplinary suspension by coach Michael Büskens which made him return to Bayer 04 earlier than expected. Will be loaned out again or sold. *2*

Tranquillo Barnetta (RM,LM): Not a great year for last-season assist leader of the Werkself. Only two goals and two assists in 24 league games are poor stats for the Swiss national player. An injury made him miss most of the second part of the season. Every year there are rumours that he might leave us, looking at the signings of Schürrle and Bellarabi his future at Bayer 04 is again uncertain. *3*

André Schürrle (LM,RM,ST): Mainz’s success this season is mainly due to his impressive year (15 goals / 5 assists). The signing will cost us 8 to 10 million euros depending on our results. *10*

Karim Bellarabi (RM,ST): This German-Moroccan 21 year-old talent of Eintracht Braunschweig was chased by a few Bundesliga clubs this season including Dortmund and Hoffenheim. Personally I never have seen him play but from what I heard he is a very quick right midfielder/striker. This season he scored in the 3.Liga eight goals and gave sixteen assists in 35 games.  He comes on a free transfer. There has been no talk about loaning him out, so he is set to be another speedy alternative on the wings next to Sidney Sam and André Schürrle. *7*


Eren Derdiyok (ST): Some of his six goals in the league were a real beauty, but he will want to forget this season as quickly as possible. Especially his barren run between fixture 8 and 23 (872 minutes) in which he did not score a single Bundesliga goal. Needs to improve his pressing on the rival defense and make more out of his chances.  Last week linked to FC Sevilla, I don’t think he will switch Champions League for Europa League *4*

Stefan Kießling (ST,RM): Best Werkself striker this season with seven goals and three assists. However Stefan could not confirm the great performance of last season. The long injury and formation change surely played a part but the blond striker also missed quite a lot of open chances on goal in the last games of the season which could have increased his account significantly. *5*

Nicolai Jörgensen (ST,LM,RM): While Domagoj Vida showed that he has potential, Nicolai in his nine Bundesliga and seven Europa League game did not display signs of quality. A season on loan could do him well. *2*


Zvonko Pamic (RM,OM): He was signed last summer for 500.000 EUR from HNK Rijeka and directly loaned out to Freiburg. Despite playing a good Under-19 European Championship (3 goals and 1 assist) Robin Dutt only gave him a few minutes in two Bundesliga games. He will be loaned another year to MSV Duisburg (2.Bundesliga). *no rating*

Jens Hegeler (DM, RM,CB): Together with Bastian Oczipka the best performing Bayer 04 player on loan this season and partly responsible for Nuremberg’s success this year. He returned last summer to Leverkusen after a 1 ½ year loan spell at FC Augsburg (2.Bundesliga) and asked to be loaned out again considering that he will have it hard to obtain match practise with the signing of Michael Ballack.  Jens played all 34 Bundesliga games at Nuremberg scoring three goals and giving three assists. Although more a defensive midfielder, he has played several games on the right wing. His loan spell finishes in 2012, if Leverkusen decides to sell him Nuremberg has a preference purchase right. *7*

Lucas (CB): This 19 year-old talent is a ghost, as hardly any information is available on him.  More than a year ago Leverkusen’s scouts discovered Lucas in Brazil and decided to sign the tall center-back from Associação Portuguesa de Desportos (Sao Paulo).  Last summer, he was supposed to take part in the season preparation of the professional team and play in some friendlies. It did not happen.  In January 2011 he was sent on loan for 1 1/2 years to Kaiserslautern, where he did not play a single game nor sat on the bench this season.  The club from the Betzenberg was granted a purchase option.  *no rating*

Hajime Hosogai (DM,LB): Regarded in Japan as one of the best players of the J-League, Hajime had a hard time to find a spot on the starting line-up of Augsburg.  Only at the end of the season did he play a few games over the full distance. His loan spell ends in the June 2012. *3*

Thanos Petsos (RB,DM): The greek Under-21 player was loaned out this summer to Kaiserlautern. Normally a right-back in the youth teams of Bayer 04, he made himself with a place in the first eleven as defensive midfielder from Fixture 12 onwards. He will continue for another season at Kaiserlautern. *5*

Richard Sukuta-Pasu (ST): In his second season at St.Pauli, Richie continued to struggle.  He only got play 155 minutes in the Bundesliga (1 goal + 1 assist). His loan spell at St.Pauli ends this summer and Kaiserlautern seems to be keen on purchasing the striker. *1*

Constant Djakpa (LB,LM): Not more than a back-up player at Hannover. It is not expected that the German club will make use of the purchase option.  Bayer 04 is likely to sell him.  According to English news reports, Newcastle United is interested in the player. *2*


Patrick Helmes (ST): Was sold in the winter-break after disagreements with coach Jupp Heynckes over his standing in the team. Unsatisfied with the amount of minutes he got to play, the 1-striker tactical formation and the demands of doing more defensive work on the pitch, he switched to Wolfsburg for an initial fee of 5 million and 3 million euros in installments. Under coach Steve McClaren and later Felix Magath he did not manage to make an impact. Patrick only scored one goal in seven matches and was more a substitute than a starter. Magath declared in an interview that he should improve his physical condition. Personally, I am not a fan of Helmes (passive player) and think that if he wants to be successful in the future he will have to work on his weaknesses, something he has was not prepared to do in Leverkusen (kept complaining). *4*

Marcel Risse (RM,LM): The winger has grown at Mainz despite not being a regular starter. In 25 league games he scored 2 goals and gave 5 assists. Risse was loaned out at the beginning of this season and Mainz used the purchase option of 800.000 Euros to acquire him. The amount was initially higher but was then reduced in the negotiations for the Schürrle Transfer. *6*


I like very much the idea of improving our wings with speedy players; this seems to be the objective with the transfers of André Schürrle and Karim Bellarabi. Under Heynckes the wingers were told to go inside and look for a finish or pass. With Robin Dutt as coach we can expect a few more centers from the goal line. The 1-striker formation (4-2-3-1) is likely to continue.  At Freiburg our new coach used successfully Cissé (22 goals) as lonely striker. Whether Kiessling or Derdiyok can deliver in similar fashion is a big question. Has it do with the tactics we played under Heynckes (not enough centres? too defensive?) that they had such a poor record or are both not made to play lonely in attack?

In the last days I have been thinking that selling Vidal would be not totally wrong.  If we really have no more room for further investments in our rather weak central defense, would it not make sense to let him leave for 20 million euros (to a foreign club, not Bayern!)? We would receive 70% of the transfer fee (Colo Colo 30%), 14 million euros and could replace for example Manuel Friedrich with a quality centre-back like Höwedes, Dante, Mertesacker.  Another option would be moving Reinartz into midfield to avoid having five centre-backs for two positions.

Hyypiä has led very well our defense in the last two years, I have my doubts that between Schwaab, Reinartz, M.Friedrich and Toprak a new leader can emerge who will coordinate our defensive line in a similar way. Against medium/bottom table teams this can be enough, but to make another step forward and play an even better season I see this configuration insufficient.

Looking forward to your comments, there is a lot to talk about 😉


Bastian Oczipka (St.Pauli), another young talent that belongs to Bayer 04

The 21 year-old left-back gave an assist to the winning goal of St.Pauli on Friday.  See below video:

Video uploaded by third party with no link to We assume no responsibility for it! 

or here:

Here is the list again of our loaned out players:

Marcel Risse (Mainz 05)
Zvonko Pamic (SC Freiburg)
Jens Hegeler (1.FC Nürnberg)
Thanos Petsos (1.FC Kaiserslautern)
Constant Djakpa (Hannover 96)
Bastian Oczipka (St.Pauli)
Oliver Petersch (Rot-Weiss Oberhausen)
Richard Sukuta-Pasu (St.Pauli) 

We also have buy-back options on several players (list may not be complete):

Lasogga (Hertha BSC Berlin)
Deniz Naki (St.Pauli)

I will try to keep you updated on strong performances of our loaned out players.  You can let me know too, the same goes for Transfer rumours and other news items you consider important.

Schürrle scores again / New coach for Bayer 04?

I will keep you all posted for the rest of the season on how Mainz and Schürrle are doing. They won yesterday 2-0 and Schürrle scored the second goal. Our loaned out player Marcel Risse who will probably not return, scored the first goal and gave a pass for the second one.

There are now also rumours coming out that Bayer 04 is interested in Mainz coach Thomas Tuchel (you can see him in the video celebrating on the sideline) if Jupp Heynckes will not continue next season. The Werkself has followed Heynckes advice to scout coaches at all times (just like players) so that when a coach needs to replaced that decision is well-thought.  This is what approximately Rudi Völler said regarding the rumor, that they have to be prepared for all circumstances.

What do I think about Thomas Tuchel? He has done great work at Mainz but he is being currently hyped. He is for me not a sure bet, I would prefer a coach that has a similar experience background than Heynckes. A coach who is not learning his job just like the overall young team of Leverkusen.

Heynckes has till December to decide whether he want to continue to coach past his 65 years. I sure hope that he continues.

Video uploaded by third party with no link to We assume no responsibility for it!

Further details of the Schürrle transfer have come out today too:

Leverkusen have withdrawn their repurchase option of their loaned out player Risse in light of the Schürrle Transfer. Mainz keeps the agreed purchase option on him. No sums have been adjusted according to Manager Heidel.  Schürrle will cost 8-8,5 Mio EUR, this can increase to 10-11 Mio EUR over the years depending on performance (maybe also a share of the transfer sum if we sell him).

Marcel Risse on loan to Mainz 05


Marcel Risse

Bayer 04 has confirmed that Risse will leave on loan to Mainz 05.  He had just came back from his loan spell at 1.FC Nürnberg, and did not convince Jupp Heynckes in the Pre-Season. 
He plays both sides in offensive Midfield, his move will benefit Burak Kaplan (the alternative for Renato Augusto-right midfield) and Sidney Sam (the alternative for Tranquillo Barnetta-left midfield).  

He will join a long list of Bayer 04 players that are on loan at other clubs.  Youth players, who have no possibility to make the jump directly into first team, are loaned out to 1. and 2. Bundesliga  (in some cases even Regionalliga) teams, to gather experience so that they can become valuable in the near future (1-3 years). You can argue whether this is a correct policy, it has certainly increased in the last years. Although it sounds reasonable, there are fans that believe it interrupts the development of the player and it pushes the plyer away from Bayer 04, who will later prefer not to come back.  They would like to see them play with Leverkusen’s second team.  There are not many players who have made it back and had success with the Werkself.  Stefan Reinartz was the last to make it, after a loan spell at 1.FC Nürnberg. 

At the moment we have these players on loan (click on player to open new window with his stats): 

Marcel Risse (Mainz 05)
Zvonko Pamic (SC Freiburg)
Jens Hegeler (1.FC Nürnberg)
Thanos Petsos (1.FC Kaiserslautern)
Constant Djakpa (Hannover 96)
Bastian Oczipka (St.Pauli)
Oliver Petersch (Rot-Weiss Oberhausen)
Richard Sukuta-Pasu (St.Pauli) 

We also have buy-back options on several players, that we have sold (list may not be complete):

Lasogga (Hertha BSC Berlin)
Deniz Naki (St.Pauli) 

And did you know, that many of these players won the Bundesliga against Bayern Munich? U-19 Bundesliga 2006/2007 🙂 

Video uploaded by third party with no link to We assume no responsibility for it!


Bayer Leverkusen – FC Bayern Munich 2:1 after extra-time 

Bayer Leverkusen:
Hohs – Petersch (78.Kaptan),Oczipka,Reinartz,Falkenberg – Selmani,Risse,Hegeler (74.Hettich),Schauerte (46.Sukuta-Pasu/114.Nowak) – Schmidt,Naki 

Bayern Munich:
Kraft – Engelmann (60.Ekici), Kopplin, Langkamp, Benede – Badstuber, Müller (71.Schneider/109.Buch), Rieß, Rohracker – Kroos – Yilmaz (89.Bopp) 

Goals: 0:1 Müller (10.), 1:1 Oczipka (76.), 2:1 Hettich (96.) 

From these players: Badstuber, Müller, Kroos and Kraft form part of the 1st team of Bayern Munich today and only Reinartz plays in the 1st team of Bayer Leverkusen today. 

Hegeler has started the season very well with a goal in his first Bundesliga match at Nürnberg, and could make it back.  The problem is that he plays in defensive midfield, a position where we already have a lot of quality (Vidal, Bender, Ballack, Balitsch and Reinartz if necessary).  Sukuta-Pasu is also a very talented striker, he has scored a goal and gave an assist coming from the bench, in St.Pauli’s season opener.  He has always had a good performance in the german underage national teams. 

Djakpa is not a bad left-back/left midfielder; Pamic was bought this season from Croatia and has played in the summer a great U-19 European Championship (4 games, 3 goals).  Petsos is still young and has excelled in the youth team as defender.  The rest listed above, I don’t see having the slightest chance to come back and to play for Bayer 04.  They don’t the sufficient quality or are comfortable at their current teams. 

After Risse’s move, Bayer Leverkusen’s squad for the season 2010/11 will include 26 players: 

Adler, Giefer, Bobel, Fernandez (goalkeeper of the Bayer 04 II team in 3.Bundesliga-that’s 4. division, Regionalliga comes before)

Castro, Schwaab, Hyypiä, Reinartz, Friedrich, Vida, Kadlec, Sarpei

Rolfes (C),
Ballack,Vidal, Balitsch, Bender, Kampl, Renato, Kaplan, Barnetta, Sam

Kießling, Helmes, Derdiyok, Jørgensen 

Today Kicker published that Sarpei could leave to Schalke 04, so it’s not sure whether this will be the definitive squad till winter.   Jupp would have at his disposal 24 players  (Kampl and Fernandez= Bayer 04 II), with a least 2 players for every position.

Look out for Burak Kaplan this season, he is likely to be the next Bayer 04 talent to emerge and join the ranks of Rene Adler, Gonzalo Castro and Stefan Reinartz.

Squad 2010/11

First row (top): Ballack, Friedrich, Hyypiä, Reinartz, Jørgensen, Rolfes

Second row: Renato Augusto, Risse, Kadlec, Derdiyok, Schwaab, Bender, Petsos (on loan to Kaiserslautern), Vida

Third row: Coaching Staff and Medical Team etc.

Fourth row: Helmes, Kaplan, Siefkes (will play in the Reserve-Team), Bobel, Giefer, Adler, Fernandez, Balitsch, Castro, Sam


1 René Adler (25 Years, Germany): Missed the World Cup due to injury but is now back on top form

22 Benedikt Fernandez (25 Years, Germany): 1st Goalkeeper of the Reserve Team

33 Tomasz Bobel (35 Years, Poland): Nr.3 at Bayer Leverkusen, an experienced goalkeeper (Fortuna Köln, MSV Duisburg, Erzgebirge Aue…)

36 Fabian Giefer (20 Years, Germany): Nr.2 at Bayer Leverkusen, with 1,96 m the tallest guy in the team. Has a great future in front of him, played 3 Bundesliga games last season due to injury of René Adler


2 Daniel Schwaab (21 Years, Germany): Played his first Bundesliga Season last year, and performed at a high level. A talented Right-Back, who needs to improve defensively. Going forward, he has shown very good qualities.

3 Stefan Reinartz (21 Years, Germany): Came back from Nürnberg last season where he was on loan. Played a solid season as defensive midfielder. He plays a simple game and commits hardly any mistakes.

4 Sami Hyypiä (36 Years, Finland): One of the best central defenders in the Bundesliga last season. Now going into his second and last season with Bayer Leverkusen.

5 Manuel Friedrich (30 Years, Germany): Played a strong part next to Hyypia in central defence. His first 17 games were probably the best in his whole career. In the second part of the season his performance slipped.

15 Hans Adu Sarpei (34 Years, Ghana): Played a great World Cup for Ghana, but at Leverkusen he fulfills the role of a reliable bench player, he can play both Right and Left-Back.

17 Domagoj Vida (21 Years, Croatia): A new signing for this season, Manchester United and other big clubs were interested in this Right-Back and Central Defender. Given his lack of English and German he is likely not to have minutes at the beginning of the season. His games in the Pre-Season showed that he still needs to adapt to German soccer.

24 Michal Kadlec (25 Years, Czech Republic): Was injured from most of last season. Now in his third season he wants to get back to the level of play he showed in his first year at Bayer Leverkusen. A dynamic left back, his father Miroslav played for Kaiserlautern, where he enjoyed a lot of success.

27 Gonzalo Castro (23 Years, Germany/Spain): One of the many youth player that Bayer Leverkusen has brought forward to their Bundesliga Team. Made his first game in the Bundesliga with 17 years. Can play as Right and Left-Back, and also in defensive Midfield. Will probably fight for a spot on the team with Kadlec (as Left-Back) this season.


6 Simon Rolfes (28 Years, Germany): Captain of the team. He had a severe knee injury at the beginning of last season. He is slowly working on his comeback and has not put a date to his reappearance. I am expecting him back in November/December. Plays as defensive Midfielder

7 Tranquillo Barnetta (25 Years, Switzerland): The Swiss can play on both sides in offensive Midfield, he is likely to play on the left side, where Kroos played last season. With 4 goals and 10 Assists he played a good season. Hopefully this season he will add more goals, this is still a pending issue for him.

8 Lars Bender (21 Years, Germany): A talented defensive midfielder, with a good push forward. Will have it difficult to add more games than last season (6 starting games, 14 games from bench) with the signing of Ballack and Balitsch.

10 Renato Augusto (22 Years, Brazil): The Brazilian wants to forget last season, two injuries made him miss most of the games. He is loved by the fans for his amazing dribblings.

13 Michael Ballack (33 Years, Germany): The Nr.13 is back at Leverkusen to try to bring the team back where it belongs (Champions League). Heynckes wants to give him more freedom as he had in Chelsea. This means we can expect him going more into the area and hopefully scoring more goals than at Chelsea. Will either play in defensive Midfield or in a central role in offensive Midfield (4-2-3-1).

14 Hanno Balitsch (29 Years, Germany): Comes from Hannover 96 as free agent. Can play in many positions and brings experience to the team. His normal role is in defensive Midfield

18 Sidney Sam (22 Years, Germany): This left Midfielder played a great season in the 2.Bundesliga with Kaiserslautern, where he scored 10 goals and gave 7 assists.  Great alternative for Barnetta, when his performance cools off.

21 Marcel Risse (20 Years, Germany): Comes back from 1.FC Nürnberg where he was on a loan.  Can play both left and right in offensive Midfield, but he is more keen to play right.  The coach thinks he stills need to work on this physical abilities.

23 Arturo Vidal (23 Years, Chile): “Der kleine Krieger” (the little Warrior), played a very good season in defensive Midfield.  He is known for this aggressive play, at the World Cup he played as Right-Back, a position he might play also at Bayer Leverkusen given the many alternatives we have in defensive Midfield.

28 Burak Kaplan (20 Years, Turkey): From the own youth, he is the most likely to make a big impact this season.  Plays as right/left Midfielder.  Will also likely play at the Reserve-Team

37 Kevin Kampl (19 Years, Slovenia): He is still too green to have a role in the Bundesliga Team.  Will play  most of the time with the Reserve-Team.


9 Patrick Helmes (26 Years, Germany): Missed most of last season, after injuring himself in a game with his friends in the summer.  He has worked hard on his comeback, and played a great Pre-Season, scoring in every friendly Leverkusen has played. Will start next to Kiessling most likely.

11 Stefan Kießling (26 Years, Germany): With 21 goals last season and his nomination into Germany’s World Cup Team, he has become an institution within the team.  His contract was extended to 2015.

19 Eren Derdiyok (22 Years, Switzerland/Turkey): Will fight for the spot next to Kiessling with Helmes.  Had a good season last year, but finished off in bad shape as he admits himself.

31 Nicolai Jørgensen (19 Years, Denmark): Came out of nowwhere (2.Division Denmark), and made an impact in the Pre-Season games.  Unfortunately he injured himself, and will miss therefore the first month of competition.

Coach: Jupp Heynckes, in his second season at Bayer Leverkusen.  Will discuss his future in December, he is now reaching retirement age (65) but the fans hope he will continue for another season (together with Ballack who will play until 2012).

Signings (5.700.000 € excluding free agents Ballack/Baltisch)

-Michael Ballack (FC Chelsea) >> free agent (12 Mio € Package for two years: 4 Mio €/yearly Salary + 4 Mio € Signing fee)

-Hanno Balitsch (Hannover 96)>> free agent

-Nicolai Jørgensen (Akademisk Boldklub, Denmark)>> 800.000 €

-Zvonko Pamic (HNK Rijeka, Croatia)>> 500.000 € (on loan at SC Freiburg)

-Domagoj Vida (NK Osijek, Croatia)>> 2.400.000 €

-Sidney Sam (Hamburger SV)>> 2.000.000 €

-Marcel Risse (1.FC Nürnberg) >> back from 1.FC Nürnberg

Departures (1.000.000 €):

-Thomas Zdebel>> free transfer to Alemannia Aachen

-Lukas Sinkiewicz>> free transfer to FC Augsburg

-Sascha Dum >> free transfer to Fortuna Düsseldorf

-Theofanis Gekas>> Eintracht Frankfurt, 1.000.000 €

-Zvonko Pamic>> on loan to SC Freiburg

-Jens Hegeler>> on loan to 1.FC Nürnberg

-Thanos Petsos>> on loan to 1.FC Kaiserslautern

-Toni Kroos>> back at FC Bayern München after loan finalized

Net Investment: 4.700.000 EUR

Bayer Leverkusen loans out a lot of youth players so they gain experience at other clubs, to become then valuable to us.  Apart from the players mentioned above, these are also on a loan:

-Constant Djakpa (Hannover 96)

-Bastian Oczipka (St.Pauli)

-Oliver Petersch (Rot-Weiss Oberhausen)

-Richard Sukuta-Pasu (St.Pauli)