2.01.2017Bayer 04

Kicker rankings: Plaudits for Tah, Henrichs and Leno

The Kicker sports journal assesses the performances of the Bundesliga pros on a six-monthly basis in their German Football Rankings – and, once again, the Werkself pros are in leading places. Goalkeeper Bernd Leno and central defender Jonathan Tah are in the 'international class', full-back Benjamin Henrichs is in the "up-and-coming" category and Ömer Toprak is named amongst the 'prospects'.
© Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fussball GmbH

With the goalkeepers it is no surprise that Manuel Neuer leads the way this time round with the Kicker editorial staff ranking him as "world-class". He is followed by seven other keepers in the international class including Bernd Leno in a repeat of last year. The half-term report on the 24-year-old Werkself shot-stopper says: "The two mistakes against Hamburg and Leipzig were Bernd Leno's only faults and the Leverkusen keeper produced outstanding performances against Gladbach, Ingolstadt and against CSKA Moscow in the Champions League. He definitely had the quality and consistency for the international class."

Benjamin Henrichs is the shooting star of the Werkself, rising from almost nothing to full international status and has rightly earned his position in the up-and-coming category – just behind Bayern's David Alaba and ahead of stalwarts like Juan Bernat, Marcel Schmelzer and Rafinha. Benjamin Henrichs made his debut for Germany in November after a meteoric rise. At the end of the year he ran out of steam to some extent and his performances suffered. But he earned one of the top average marks of 2.4 after strong set of performances in the group stage of the Champions League."

For the Kicker, Jonathan Tah is the second best central defender in Germany after Mats Hummels. His assessment declares: "In a repeat of last season, the Leverkusen player has proved to be very consistent – with all his well-known qualities: physically strong, quick, and anything but immobile in spite of his stature." With Ömer Toprak the journal reports: "His average mark in the league (3.55) was not enough to make the rankings. However, his impressive performances in the Champions League have raised him up to the prospects category.

© Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fussball GmbH

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