Summary

  • Aranguiz shines in Leverkusen friendly win.
  • Chilean enjoyed Christmas break in South America.
  • Schmidt: 'He has a lot of happiness, a lot of energy'

Bayer 04 Leverkusen are hoping to reap the benefits of Charles Aranguiz's trans-Atlantic festive break after the Chilean's turbo-charged return to action ahead of the Rückrunde.

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Aranguiz was a cornerstone of his nation's Copa America Centenario triumph last summer and carried that momentum into his club's new season with a string of eye-catching performances.

The 27-year-old's form tailed off as Christmas approached, however, with the fatigue of a hectic half-year seemingly finally having caught up with him. The former Internacional midfielder was back to his ebullient best in Leverkusen's penalty shoot-out defeat of Argentine giants Estudiantes on Monday, however, after spending Christmas in his native Chile.

"He was very good, but he'd already shown that in training. The 14 days at home did him good," Die Werkself's coach Roger Schmidt said after his team's win, adding that fellow trans-Atlantic travellers Wendell and Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez had also looked sharp.

"They recharged their batteries. They have been like that since the first day of training camp: a lot of happiness and a lot of energy. And they bring that into games."

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