9.05.2019Bayer 04

Kerem Demirbay – Pacesetter and set-piece specialist

Kerem Demirbay is set to join Bayer 04 for next season. The 25-year-old comes from Bundesliga rivals TSG Hoffenheim and is the first summer signing for the Werkself. A short profile of the player from the Ruhr region.

The new summer signing Kerem Demirbay should know his way round the Rhineland. Four years ago, the then 21-year-old played for second division Fortuna Düsseldorf – on loan from Hamburg SV. The central midfielder established himself in the starting eleven of our Rhine neighbours from 30 kilometres away and he scored an important goal in the relegation battle that helped prevent Fortuna dropping down into the third tier. With his ability to score (10 goals in 25 league games) and vision, the pacesetter was capable of much more: And in the summer of 2016 the Bundesliga club TSG 1899 Hoffenheim came calling. The 1.82 metre tall, free-kick and corner specialist has scored 12 goals (as at 8 May 2019) for TSG in 86 matches (including 71 in the Bundesliga).

The roots of the son of parents of Turkish origin, who describes himself "as more of a serious character", are in the Ruhr region: Kerem Demirbay was born in Herten on 3 July 1993 and he grew up in the Buer district of Gelsenkirchen. The team player received his football training and education in the youth sections at FC Schalke, SG Wattenscheid and Borussia Dortmund before moving north to Hamburg SV for the 2013/14 campaign after a season in the Third Division (for the Dortmund second team). He made his Bundesliga debut for HSV (20 April 2014) but the Turkey youth international suffered repeated injuries. At least in the beginning. Kerem Demirbay went out on loan and tried his luck in the second tier of German professional football – with one season each at Kaiserslautern and Düsseldorf. And, as often happens in football, the supposed step back turned out to be a step forwards for the left footer.

At Hoffenheim, the married family man, whose son was born in March of last year in Neuss, finally made the breakthrough at national level in the last three seasons. Under Julian Nagelsmann he developed into a first choice on the team sheet and a leader on the pitch. According to the sports magazine kicker, Demirbay has the best marks in the Bundesliga this season.

The new Werkself number 26 also has experience on the European stage in the Champions League (five games) and in the Europa League (four games). And he has also been a winner with Germany (two caps) – alongside Julian Brandt, Bernd Leno and Benny Henrichs – at the Confederations Cup in Russia in 2017.

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