The Werkself head coach welcomed his players back to the training ground on Wednesday morning. With high summer temperatures around 30 degrees, Jonathan Tah and Leon Bailey were both back with their team-mates. After their international appearances at the U21 European Championships and the Gold Cup, the two players were given an extended break and are only now returning to training. Tah, who completed the performance tests at the BayArena on Tuesday, could hardly be wait to be back on training ground with his fellow players. "The holiday did me a power of good but in the last few days I’ve started to get the itch. It's great we’re getting started again," said the 23-year-old who was a spectator on Sunday night at the BayArena for the charity match organised by Dirk Nowitzki and Mick Schumacher. The captain of the Germany U21 team is also happy about his new neighbour in the dressing room: Moussa Diaby. "It definitely helps him having someone who can speak to him in French. I translate and I'm happy to help him," said Tah who can speak French as his mother comes from the Ivory Coast.
Leon Bailey also clearly enjoyed his first training session of the pre-season. "I really enjoyed my holiday. Being back in my home country and spending time with the family felt great," said the Jamaican. Participation with his home nation in the Gold Cup, with Leon making his first full international appearance on 17 June against Honduras (3-2), was a good experience – in spite of missing out on the final. Bailey is now focused on the pre-season and the campaign that begins in just three weeks. "It feels great to be back here. I've really missed being able to train with the lads, have a joke and hang round with them."
In addition to the recently injured Julian Baumgartlinger (inflammation in his foot), Joel Pohjanpalo was also back on the pitch on Wednesday morning. The Finn was kicked on the right foot in the friendly against Eibar on Saturday and he had to be substituted. Charles Aránguiz, who also was given extended leave due to his participation in the Copa América with Chile, is expected to return to Leverkusen in the next few days.
The Werkself are training at 9 am on Thursday and Friday and on Saturday at 3.30 pm ahead of the end of this week of training on Sunday with the double matchday against Heracles Almelo (15.00 CET) and the Vitesse Arnhem (17.00 CET, both games broadcast live on bayer04.de, Facebook and YouTube) at the Kurtekotten Academy.
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