In what is becoming an increasingly familiar position, a Bundesliga club is left to replace a mega-money Premier League signing.
Tottenham captured attacking midfielder Son Heung-min from Bayer Leverkusen today, parting with £22 million for the South Korean’s services.
Son follows the steps of Roberto Firmino, Shinji Okazaki and Abdul Baba Rahman among others in moving to England for massive sums of money – Kevin De Bruyne’s potential move to Manchester City blows all of those out of the water.
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Leverkusen may have lost a fantastic player and, at 23, someone who can only improve. But the German side has another star waiting in the wings and Son’s departure will fast track the development of an exciting winger.
BRANDT & INCOMING TRANSFERS SOFTEN BLOW
Step forward 19-year-old Julian Brandt.
A two-footed winger with pace to burn, Brandt’s career has been a slow burner thus far. Behind full internationals Karim Bellerabi, Hakan Çalhanoğlu and Admir Mehmedi in the pecking order, as well as Son before his move, means playing time has been limited.
Brandt has been restricted to impressive cameo appearances and opened his 2015/16 season with a match-winning goal against Hoffenheim on Matchday One.
While Son offers better versatility, having been utilised sparingly as a lone striker, the young prospect directly replaces Son on the wing where Roger Schmidt preferred to play the South Korean.
Brandt’s more prominent role and increased game time is likely to accelerate his development but Leverkusen continue to strengthen their midfield with shrewd additions.
Kevin Kampl is re-united with ex-Red Bull Salzburg manager Schmidt after finding chances limited at Borussia Dortmund while Bayern Munich’s Pierre Højbjerg remains a loan option.
Son’s transfer is also funding a move for highly-rated striker Jonathan Soriano, another of Schmidt’s Salzburg players, while winger Robbie Kruse can prove his credentials after a string of frustrating injuries.
TWO GAMES WITHOUT SON, TWO IMPRESSIVE PERFORMANCES
The attacking midfielder missed B04’s last two fixtures but his absence had little influence on Leverkusen.
They made it two from two with a hard fought Bundesliga win against Hannover 96 before overturning a first leg deficit against Lazio in the Champions League qualifier.
All three attacking midfielders in the ranks scored against Lazio – the fourth, Brandt, emerged from the substitutes bench to assist Bellerabi’s strike.
In selling Son, Bayer Leverkusen have given themselves an enviable trait – strength in depth.
Die Werkself made a profit on Son’s sale, re-invested on strong additions and now have a chance to bring through one of Germany’s brightest talents.
And their diligent investments mean they now look in better shape after Son’s sale.