Peter Bosz has been a revelation at Bayer Leverkusen so far. Having been appointed midway during the season, he took them from ninth in the Bundesliga table into a Champions League spot thanks to 11 wins from his 17 games in charge. Only the unstoppable Bayern Munich machine won more times in the Rückrunde as Bosz’s exciting attacking approach led to entertainment for Leverkusen fans, visiting fans, and especially neutrals with just one draw in those 17 matches.
Leverkusen’s Champions League qualification has allowed them to keep the core of their team intact, with only Julian Brandt (£1.72) moving on for Borussia Dortmund thanks to a meagre release clause in his contract that made it impossible to keep him at the BayArena. However, Bosz and the B04 upper management of Rudi Völler and Simon Rolfes have already made plenty of moves in the transfer market to upgrade the team for an assault on Europe.
An extra €3 million was added to the money received for Brandt to bring in Kerem Demirbay (£1.15) from Hoffenheim. He can replace his fellow German in midfield and was one of the standout performers in the Bundesliga last season. The 25-year-old Germany international finished the season with four goals and nine assists at Hoffenheim, but that should definitely increase at his new club thanks to Bosz’s take-no-prisoners approach.
“Leverkusen play really attractive attacking football,” Demirbay said after being unveiled at his new club. “Their style suits mine and I’m really looking forward to becoming a part of this team.”
Bosz has also begun to make his own stamp on the squad, bringing in someone he has worked with previously in Daley Sinkgraven. The 23-year-old was a winger at Ajax, but Bosz converted him into a left-back to great success. Sinkgraven found himself on the fringes at Ajax last season, but his urge to attack rather than defend won’t be a problem for Bosz at Leverkusen. Bosz sees his former wide player as the perfect addition to bring the ball forward and create chances for team-mates and he will provide competition for Wendell (£0.52) at left-back – someone who the head coach had his doubts about late in the season.
Sinkgraven formed a brilliant wide partnership with Amin Younes (£0.41) at Bosz’s Ajax, and could be about to do the same with another of Leverkusen’s summer signings. Moussa Diaby (£1.29) found chances hard to come by at Paris Saint-Germain with Neymar (£7.69), Kylian Mbappe (£5.73), and Angel Di Maria (£0.64) ahead of him in the pecking order. Leon Bailey (£1.41) and Paulinho (£1.39) are both options at left-wing, but their versatility can see them play across the attack.
Leverkusen spent €15m on 19-year-old Diaby, but the club see him turning into an even more valuable asset under Bosz’s tutelage.
“Moussa is an extremely quick, technically gifted attacker whose qualities are perfectly suited to our playing style,” sporting director Simon Rolfes told the club’s official website. “He’s only 19 but he’s already developed well. He made 34 competitive appearances last season, which is a remarkable amount at a top club like PSG. He’s one of France’s most talented players and he’s got the ideal conditions here in Leverkusen to develop into an absolutely top-class player.”
Leverkusen’s summer spending hasn’t stopped either. They’ve been linked with numerous players from across Europe, most notably former Real Madrid wonderkid Martin Ødegaard (£1.26) who is also wanted by Real Sociedad. Ødegaard had a fantastic season in the Netherlands last season and is looking for another loan move to allow him to prove himself to Zinedine Zidane and Madrid.
Should the Norway international decide to stay in Spain rather than move to Germany, Leverkusen are also looking at Dani Olmo (£1.18) to add to their attack. The Spain Under-21 international currently plays in Croatia with Dinamo Zagreb, but is eager to move to a bigger club.
With Kai Havertz (£3.23) staying at Leverkusen for at least another season, all these attacking additions will surely make Bayer one of the most exciting teams to watch in the 2019-20 Champions League.