2.07.2019Bayer 04

Demirbay: Why the move is exactly the right step

New signing Kerem Demirbay completed his second training session with the Werkself on the pitch at the BayArena on Tuesday morning – the 25-year-old felt as if he had been playing in Black and Red for years. How well he was received by his team-mates, what was in favour of a move to Leverkusen and what he expects from the coming season were covered in a press conference after the session.

Kerem Demirbay on…

…arriving in Leverkusen:
"I feel as I've played here for years. The lads accepted me quickly and really well. Of course, it's easier for me because I already know some of them. I felt good here from the start and yesterday at the latest I thought to myself at the training session: 'That can't actually be your first day.' In terms of the lads and the environment on and off the pitch, I'm absolutely at home after the second day."

…how the move to Bayer 04 came about:
"I felt I needed ta change to help me develop. I need other team-mates and a different environment. To be honest, it quickly became clear to me that I'd like to make the move. And that it's the right, important and good step for me in my career. The management – really top people in all areas – quickly made me feel that they are honest with me and that the club isn't an average Bundesliga club. I can play in the Champions League with Bayer 04. In my opinion, the philosophy of the club and of the coach are world class: We want to be brave and play on the front foot. That suits me and the way I play. Therefore I decided very early on, if not directly, after the first talks: That's the step I want to make now. On top of that: My wife's from Leverkusen, my parents from Gelsenkirchen. It couldn't have gone better for me."

…pressure to succeed and expectations:
"I'm happy to be here. I'm looking forward to the new challenge and confidence from all sides. I've heard I'm the most expensive purchase in the club's history. But that doesn't put me under pressure – quite the contrary! It gives me positive energy that will definitely give me a boost. But of course I have to deliver too. I see everything in a positive way. A transfer fee like that is also confirmation of the work you've done."

…his role on the pitch:
"I feel really good in the central position. I think that's where I'll be played. The system the coach wants us to play and what they want to do with me will help me develop. I'm convinced of that."

…the number 10 shirt:
"10 is my favourite number. The number was available here at Bayer 04 hours allowed to take it. If Julian Brandt had stayed then I would have had the number 26."

…the targets with Bayer 04 for the coming season:
"We've got to aim for a Champions League finish. Our target must be to win as many games as possible. Just like the lads did in the second half of the season – not to draw but to win! With the quality and the personalities we have in the team, I'm optimistic we’ll succeed. It’s incredibly important for me to be able to hear the Champions League anthem at some point. It's great to be able to play football at such a level. If I could choose the opposition we have to play in the group stage then it would be Real Madrid for me."

…the opening Bundesliga fixture for the Werkself:
"It's always difficult to start the season – regardless of whether it's against a newly promoted team or against a team like Bayern Munich. The opening game of the season is just a normal match for us. Of course, we want to win it."

…his development at Hoffenheim:
"I made a really big step forward on a personal level at Hoffenheim: the way I play is more settled and I've matured in relation to the whole package. TSG are a top club and offer plenty of opportunities. As a player you have time to develop there. I did that and now I've played up to 70 Bundesliga matches. I have a lot to thank Hoffenheim for – I think that's true the other way round as well."

…his hopes of a recall to the Germany team:
"I've talked about this subject so often… Sometimes it appears as if you're having to do your own PR – that doesn't suit me. I know what I can do and I know I have the quality to play there. Everything else is out of my hands. What will be, will be."



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