Leon Bailey (Aston Villa/England)
After four and a half seasons under the Bayer Cross, Leon Bailey joined Aston Villa in the Premier League before the start of the season. The Jamaica international made 18 appearances for the Villains in his first year and scored one goal and provided two assists. The pacy forward has again and again been hit by injuries and he missed eight games in succession from December to February due to thigh problems. The 24-year-old and his new club ended the season in 14th in England's top flight.
Wendell (FC Porto/Portugal)
The Brazilian left-back Wendell headed for southern Europe last season. The 28-year-old signed for the top Portuguese club FC Porto. The 5 foot 9 defender did play the full 90 minutes in the first round of the DFB Cup when the Werkself beat Lokomotive Leipzig 3-0. That was appearance 250 for the Black and Reds for Wendell since his move in 2014 from the Brazilian club Gremio Porto Alegre. The left-footer has made 27 appearances in the blue-and-white shirt of the Portuguese side and he won the league and cup double in Portugal with his new club.
Lars Bender (TSV Brannenburg)
Lars Bender ended twelve years at Leverkusen last summer with the nomination as the seventh Bayer 04 honorary captain. It was a farewell from the professional game but certainly not from football. The 19-time Germany international has been playing for his youth team TSV Brannenburg back home in Bavaria. The 33-year-old has played 15 games in the local Kreisklasse 1 and has scored three goals.
Sven Bender (TSV Brannenburg)
Sven Bender did the same as his twin brother Lars in the summer of 2021. He ended his professional career after 446 games for TSV 1860 Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Bayer 04 but he is carrying on in amateur football at TSV Brannenburg. In terms of appearances (13) as well as goals scored (1), Sven has not quite equalled the level of his brother. The Bender twins ended the first Kreisliga season in sixth place.
Tin Jedvaj (Lokomotiv Moscow/Russia)
Tin Jedvaj’s new club last season was Lokomotiv Moscow. The 26-year-old has developed into a stabilising factor in the defence at the club from the Russian capital. The Croatia international has played 25 games with 21 of them for the full 90 minutes. The central defender even led his team out as captain in the derby against Spartak Moscow on matchday 23.
Aleksandar Dragovic (Red Star Belgrade/Serbia)
In addition to Wendell, another Werkself player transferred out has succeeding in winning a double. After four seasons under the Bayer Cross, interrupted by a 12-month loan spell at Leicester City, Aleksandar Dragovic joined the Serbian record champions Red Star Belgrade. The 31-year-old immediately became a regular first choice in the Serbian capital and he made 52 appearances for Red Star across all competitions. Last season, Dragovic & Co. won the Serbian league as well as the national cup competition.
Demarai Gray (Everton/England)
Demarai Gray returned to England in the summer of 2021 after a six-month spell at Leverkusen with 12 appearances for the Werkself. The 25-year-old Englishman signed for Everton and he played in 39 games. The fast winger scored six goals and provided five assists last term. Gray and the Toffees succeeded in maintaining top-flight status on the final matchday in the Premier League.
Lennart Grill (Brann Bergen/Norway)
Goalkeeper Lennart Grill spent the second half of 2021 at the Norwegian club Brann Bergen. The then 22-year-old keeper gained match practice in Scandinavia and he was between the sticks for the Norwegian side in all of the remaining league matches (13). As matches are played over the calendar year in Norway, Grill joined the relegation-threatened club from Bergen in the middle of the season. The Norwegians were unable to avoid the drop even with the Leverkusen loanee. The keeper returned under the Bayer Cross at the start of the year and he produced an impressive performance on matchday 21 in the 5-2 victory for the Werkself over Borussia Dortmund when Lukas Hradecky and Andrey Lunev were unavailable.
Mitchell Weiser (Werder Bremen)
Mitchell Weiser went out on loan for a season to relegated club Werder Bremen. The 28-year-old full-back made 28 appearances for Bremen in Bundesliga 2 and he scored two goals and provided two assists. As an irreplaceable part of the team, Weiser played his part in the North German side immediately regaining top-flight status. The loan ends on 30 June 2022.
Joel Pohjanpalo (Çaykur Rizespor/Turkey)
Joel Pohjanpalo spent last season on loan at the Turkish top-flight club Çaykur Rizespor. The Finland international was unable to prevent his loan club being relegated from the SüperLig but the 27-year-old did impressed with 16 goals in 33 games, which put him in fourth place amongst the top goalscorers. Before that, Pohjanpalo played three games for the Werkself in the first round of the DFB Cup and on the first two Bundesliga matchdays. The loan ends on 30 June 2022.
Santiago Arias (Atletico Madrid & FC Granada/Spain)
After a disrupted loan season in 2020/21 at Bayer 04 (just one appearance) due to a broken leg, Santiago Arias first returned to Atletico Madrid before being transferred last summer to the Spanish first division side FC Granada. The 30-year-old Colombian made brief appearances at first until a thigh injury ruled him out for almost five months. Arias made a total of 14 appearances for FC Granada.
Yannik Schlösser (FC Nürnberg II)
Werkself homegrown player Yannick Schlösser went out on loan to the FC Nürnberg second team in his first year with the senior side. The 20-year-old gained valuable match practice in 31 league matches in the Regional League South. His loan ends on 30 June 2022.
Cem Türkmen (Clermont Foot/France & Austria Lustenau/Austria)
Cem Türkmen also changed clubs. The former Leverkusen youth player signed a contract at the Ligue 1 club Clermont Foot but the central midfielder spent last season on loan at Austria Lustenau in the Austrian second division. The 20-year-old made 28 appearances primarily as a substitute.
Nadiem Amiri (CFC Genoa/Italy)
Nadiem Amiri went out on loan to CFC Genoa in Serie A in January 2022. The Germany U21 European Champion made 13 appearances for the Italian club in the second half of the season where he was unable to prevent relegation and a drop to the second division. Failing to stay up meant the midfielder would not stay at Genoa. The 25-year-old made 20 appearances for Bayer 04 in the Hinrunde in the Bundesliga (13), the UEFA Europa League (5) and the DFB Cup (2). The loan ends on 30 June 2022.
Panagiotis Retsos (Hellas Verona/Italy)
Panagiotis Retsos played for the Black and Reds up to matchday 20 before the Greece international joined the Italian club Hellas Verona. The 23-year-old played eight games for the Werkself and that has been followed by five appearances in Serie A since February 2022. The defender's new club finished ninth in Italy's top flight.
Emrehan Gedikli (Trabzonspor/Turkey)
Emrehan Gedikli completed the pre-season with the first team but the centre forward did not play in the Bundesliga despite being in the squad five times. The then 18-year-old collected match practice in the Bayer 04 U19 team. A change of scenery came in the winter: The seven-time Germany U19 player joined Trabzonspor, the Turkish champions to be. Gedikli has yet to play for his new club.
Monster Energy has been a partner in the Sponsors Club at Bayer 04 Leverkusen since the start of the 2023/24 season. Monster Energy has shown their products at Werkself home games on the LED advertising hoardings at the BayArena. Monster Energy activated the next stage of the partnership with the current Bundesliga league leaders for Bayer 04’s home game against Union Berlin in the middle of November. Monster Energy will continue to present themselves as a reliable and ambitious partner to Leverkusen fans through similar promotional events as at the game against Union Berlin.Show more
Bayer 04 involvement with the ‘Kältegang Leverkusen’ project continues this winter. The current Bundesliga league leaders and their fans again presented financial and in-kind donations to the homeless charity at home game against Borussia Dortmund (1-1).Show more
The Werkself remain unbeaten after the 1-1 draw with Borussia Dortmund on Bundesliga Matchday 13. The one-sided game demanded a lot of strength of nerve and competitive spirit from Xabi Alonso's team. In the end, Victor Boniface rewarded the relentless attacking efforts of the league leaders against passive but efficient visitors. The Werkself review.Show more
Bayer 04 were held to a 1-1 draw by Borussia Dortmund on Matchday 13 in the Bundesliga. Julian Ryerson had put the visitors in front at a sold-out BayArena after only five minutes. Leverkusen would go on to dominate proceedings and finally get their deserved equaliser through Victor Boniface in the 79th minute. It’s a result that extends the Werkself’s unbeaten run in all competitions this season to 20 matches.Show more
For the 17th time, Bayer 04 Sportförderung gGmbH has awarded the Volunteers Award for outstanding commitment to football in Leverkusen and the surrounding region. The three outstanding clubs in 2023 are BSV Roleber 1919, TuS 05 Oberpleis and SV 1924 Glehn. They will each receive prize money of €5,000.Show more