10.09.2019Bayer 04

Bender on the heels of Leno

Nearly everybody was back on board at Bayer 04 on Monday 9 September. With the exception of Joel Pohjanpalo, who is joining in with training more day by day, all the remaining Werkself pros took part in full training. News from the first day of the week ahead of the away game at Borussia Dortmund.

After the training session, a total of five players and an assistant were the focus of attention for various media. While Mitchell Weiser (Fußball Woche from Berlin) and Nadiem Amiri (Eurosport) each completed a telephone interview, Kevin Volland and the two Bender brothers faced questions from journalists at the BayArena. Volland spoke to the reporter from the Kicker (the interview will appear in Thursday’s edition), Sven Bender was with the Ruhr Nachrichten and twin brother Lars the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger. The Werkself skipper sprang one or two surprises. In response to the question of whether he knew how many games he will have played if selected for the team to face BVB at the weekend, our number 8 answered in a flash: “The 301st game.“

Bender on heels of Leno

The journalist was surprised for two reasons. On the one hand, that Bender knew the number straight away. His answer: “A fan told me after the Hoffenheim game that it was my 300th appearance for Bayer 04.” On the other hand, the number surprised the journalist. According to his online research it was 297 games. Lars Bender had the immediate solution to the puzzle: “That didn’t take into account the number of appearances for the second team.” The player born in Rosenheim made three appearances in the Regional League West between 2009 and 2011. “Club is club,” declared Bender who is on the way to the top ten in this club statistic. According to, Bernd Leno is in tenth place with 304 appearances for the Blacks and Reds. It’s a long way to the top spot. That is currently occupied by Rüdiger Vollborn with 478 games.

Interview with Krüzen

In addition to the five players, assistant coach Hendrie Krüzen also faced the media – this time the club broadcaster Bayer 04 TV. The long-standing assistant and friend of head coach Peter Bosz reported on eight months at Leverkusen, looked forward to the forthcoming clash with Borussia Dortmund (“We’re going there in a very confident mood!”) and he also revealed which player from the current squad could be compared with the player Hendrie Krüzen. The interview will appear on Thursday on and the club’s social media channels.

Positive MRI report for Pohjanpalo

He’s on the right track. Joel Pohjanpalo, who has had to battle with circulation problems in his ankle, is doing more from one training session to the next. And the positive, subjective impression of the player was confirmed on Monday afternoon with an MRI scan. While the Finnish striker cannot yet return to full training, the medical assessment means he can gradually increase his workload.

Rolfes calls for uniform transfer window

Sporting director Simon Rolfes spoke out for closing the transfer window in the Bundesliga before the first league game in an interview with the Bild am Sonntag. “So teams have an equal chance with their squads at the start of the 17 games in the first half of the season,” said the 37-year-old. While the transfer window in the Bundesliga was open to 2 September, the Premier League window closed on 8 August. Players could only be signed by clubs in England up to that date. Rolfes: “I would welcome it if we, Spain, Italy and France would do the same.” As the sporting director of Bayer Leverkusen, he had already done that in the summer. The final new signing, Nadiem Amiri, was brought in at the end of July. Around one week before the transfer window had closed in England.

Kohr compares himself with Hradecky

Dominik Kohr also moved on in time. The 25-year-old, who came through the ranks at Leverkusen, left at the start of July. The Eintracht Frankfurt midfielder is happy to look back at his time with the Werkself. “Every coach has his own ideas and it wasn’t right at the end. It was time to go even though I always felt good at Leverkusen,” said Kohr in an interview with the Frankfurter Rundschau. During the interview, he also revealed that Lukas Hradecky, who went the opposite way in the summer of 2018, and he are very different characters. “Lukas is a funny and special bloke. The moment he enters a room he has ten friends straight away. It takes me an hour before I can talk to somebody.”


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