“Must improve”: bayer squad remains a construction site

The man everyone was talking about after bayer leverkusen’s poor start to the bundesliga did not have a good sunday evening.

He didn’t even score a goal and was substituted at half time. Alone: kai havertz was not even present for the "werkself’s" 0-0 draw with vfl wolfsburg. The german national player experienced his deflation some 900 kilometers away during the 0:2 defeat of his new club FC chelsea in the top game of the english premier league against champions liverpool.

Bayer leverkusen without kai havertz and also without kevin volland (to AS monaco): most people expected that this could become a sporting problem. At the 0:0 in wolfsburg this became visible for the first time. "We have to improve going forward," said coach peter bosz afterwards. The team, which is often envied for its play culture and attacking tempo, lacked any offensive momentum on this first day of bundesliga play.

Since only about 25 million euros of the roughly 100 million euros that bayer 04 has collected by selling its best player (havertz) and its best goal scorer of the past three years (volland) have so far been reinvested in the transfer of czech national striker patrik schick, the leverkusen squad is exactly two weeks away from the end of the transfer period on 5. October still one of the fubball bundesliga’s roughest construction sites. "There will still be a few players coming up to us. But it is also possible that a few more players will leave us. We’re talking about it," said bosz.

How much money is now going into which parts of the team?? That’s the big question. Rudi voller, the club’s managing director, made it clear once again in wolfsburg that the havertz millions will not be spent on new players and that no 1:1 replacement for the german national player will be signed.

"These are difficult times. We’re all losing revenue," said voller in a sky interview. Furthermore, the transfer market hardly offers anything more promising for havertz’s position in attacking midfield than the players that bayer 04 already has in its lineup: 17-year-old super talent florian wirtz for example. Or the likewise still young nadiem amiri and exequiel palacios, who only joined leverkusen last season.

The european league contender will perhaps only do something in attack if lucas alario and leon bailey, who are willing to transfer, should still leave the club. Here, voller and bosz are counting on the ex-leipzig player schick to make an impact soon and on the entire team to settle in after the extremely short preparation for the season. "We’ve only been training for three weeks. That’s not much to establish the automatisms. I am sure we will improve," said the trainer.

If peter bosz has his way, the club should first use its transfer income to eliminate the weak points that he already identified in the days of havertz and volland: the forward positions in defense. This is in line with a "kicker" report, according to which leverkusen is looking for santiago arias from atletico madrid. The colombian national player is a right defender.

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