23.09.2021Bayer 04

News in brief: ‘Golden Boy 2021’ – Wirtz and Kossounou on shortlist

The Italian sports journal 'Tuttosport' has reduced the number of names from 60 to 40 on the shortlist for the prestigious Golden Boy award – two Bayer 04 players are still in the running. Also in Thursday's news in brief: a first and a second place for the Werkself.

They are definitely two of the key players in the team under head coach Gerardo Seoane this season: Playmaker Florian Wirtz and central defender Odilon Kossounou, who joined Leverkusen from FC Brugge in the summer of 2021.

The ability to win the ball, positional play, ball control, build-up play – the Ivory Coast international has quickly impressed at the age of just 21. His performance at the top Belgian club from Bruges plus those in a Bayer 04 shirt have earned Kossounou a place in the list of the last 40 players for the Golden Boy 2021. And he is not alone from a Black and Red perspective.

The second Werkself player in this illustrious selection is Florian Wirtz who is three years younger than his teammate and is currently causing a stir in the Bundesliga. After five matchdays, the 18-year-old has already scored three goals and provided four assists. The youngest full international in the history of Bayer 04 has more than deserved his place on the shortlist. There will be a further reduction in the list of nominations in the middle of October.

the werkself can do efficiency

There is also good news in terms of statistics: The Werkself have made their best start to the season since 2013/14 and are the most efficient team in the Bundesliga after five matchdays. The outstanding finishing of Patrik Schick and Co. is most clearly evident looking at the xGoals, they are the goals to be expected based on the number of shots at goal and their quality. According to the xGoal calculation, the Werkself should have scored eight goals to date – but there have already been 15. No other Bundesliga side has a higher efficiency.

Two attacking players are mainly responsible for this top value: Florian Wirtz and Moussa Diaby. Wirtz has scored three goals to date, his xGoal value is however 0.7. Diaby has also scored three times and has a rating of 0.8. With the exception of Dortmund's Erling Haaland, no other Bundesliga players are more efficient.

Leverkusen young bucks

Moussa Diaby (22), Odilon Kossounou (21), Florian Wirtz (18): They are all in the early stages of their careers. The three are however not the only ones in the Werkself squad that this statement applies to. The kicker sports paper has calculated from the first five matchdays that Bayer 04 have the second youngest team in the Bundesliga so far this term. With an average age of 24.9 years, the Werkself are just behind VfB Stuttgart (24.8)..

second jumble sale at the BayArena

It's full steam ahead with preparations at the Fan House: The second fan jumble sale at the BayArena is round the corner. On Saturday, 9 October, it will be possible to acquire a wide range of Bayer 04 merchandise from ten in the morning until three in the afternoon. The special element: All proceeds go to the Leverkusen community foundation. The first gems can be checked out on the Bayer 04 fan info Facebook page.

"There will be items where you can place an offer at a certain point in time and then hope your bid is accepted," explained Sebastian Friedrich from the Bayer 04 fan liaison team. Access to the jumble sale is only possible via the North West entrance to the BayArena by the flyover.

BIRTHDAY greetings

Jan-Inge Callsen-Bracker wore the Bayer 04 shirt for ten years and the Schleswig-Holstein-born player with the unusual name made his first team debut in Leverkusen in 2003. He ended his playing career 16 years later at FC Augsburg and then took up a position on the FCA supervisory board. Callsen-Bracker is now the director of development at the German Football Association (DFB) and the former Leverkusen player today celebrates his 37th birthday – many happy returns.

Manfred Kastl also used to play for the Werkself (1988/89) and his birthday is on 23 September too. He is 56 years old. Happy birthday.

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